Diane Chaplin is a world-class cellist, nurturing music educator, and dedicated conductor. She appears often as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber music artist, and tours around the U.S. as a featured member of the Portland Cello Project. She has a large class of private cello students (right now still on Zoom!), and adjudicates for solo, ensemble and orchestra festivals throughout Oregon and Washington. Diane is the Program Coordinator for the Chamber Music Camp of Portland, where she also conducts the Advanced Chamber Orchestra. In 2019 she began performing solo cello recitals both in the U.S. and Italy under the name Il Violoncello Capriccioso, which set her up well for her current project: livestreams of solo cello music on the first Tuesday of every month. Upcoming livestream (and in-person) concert schedule is here.

Diane is an inspiring teacher of students young and old, and trained hundreds of cellists during a two-decade tenure at the Allen-Stevenson School in Manhattan. She has a large class of adult students of all levels and teaches online lesson to players around the world. Diane holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts, where she was a student of Cesare Pascarella, and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Harvey Shapiro. She received a Special Prize from the International Cello Competition in Viña del Mar, Chile, and a Certificate from the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and has appeared in solo concerts throughout the United States and Europe. She has performed several times with Mikhail Baryshnikov, and in cameo performances with the Flying Karamazov Brothers.  

Upcoming in February, 2022, Diane is scheduled to perform the Tchaikovsky/Cassado Concerto with the Salem Philharmonia, a concert that has been postponed twice during the Covid-19 epidemic. Other concerto appearances in the Portland area have included with the Beaverton Symphony, Sunnyside Symphony, Clark College/Community Orchestra, Tualatin Valley Symphony, Jewish Community Orchestra, Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and Venerable Showers of Beauty Gamelan at Lewis and Clark College. Diane was a founding member of Northwest New Music, has often been featured on Cascadia Composers concerts, and was a member of the Free Marz String Trio. From 2010-2015 Diane was the conductor and Director of Youth Orchestras for the Oregon Pro Arte organization, and from 2015-2019 she was Director and Conductor of the Rose City Youth Orchestras. Diane is an eclectic musician, with interests that range from the traditional great works of the western musical canon to ... things that are not. A prolific arranger and composer, she produces many reworkings of chamber music repertoire, writes brilliant arrangements for the Portland Cello Project, and has published many of her arrangements and  student cello music, which you can purchase from the MUSIC tab on this page.


Diane is an espresso snob and always tours with a hand-pump portable espresso device. When not performing or teaching in the U.S., she escapes to her home in Siena, Italy (where she does not need the portable espresso maker). 

Diane moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon, in 2009. Before taking up residence on the west coast, she spent 21 years as the cellist of the Colorado Quartet and with them had an international career which took her around the globe. The Quartet was the first all-female string quartet to perform the complete Beethoven Quartet cycle in both North America and Europe and their recordings of these works can be heard on the Parnassus label. Other award-winning discs are available on the Parnassus, Mode and Albany labels. Diane has held teaching positions at many prestigious institutions of higher learning, including Oberlin College-Conservatory and Swarthmore College, and taught for several years at Bard College in NY State. More recently she taught at both Linfield University and Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. She has given master classes at the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, Indiana University, Cleveland Institute of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory, Stanford University and the Banff Centre. As a member of the Colorado Quartet, she was visiting chamber music faculty at Yale University in 2009.