About Diane

Diane Chaplin is a solo artist, chamber music cellist and nurturing music educator in Portland, Oregon. She can also be heard in solo and chamber music performances across the globe and tours with the Portland Cello Project as a featured artist. In recent years she has appeared as soloist with the Salem Philharmonia, Beaverton Symphony, Oregon Sinfonietta, Tualatin Valley Symphony, Sunnyside Symphony, Jewish Community Orchestra, Clark College Orchestra, and others. Diane has taught at Yale University, Bard College, Oberlin Conservatory, Lewis and Clark College and Linfield University and has given master classes in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, Bosnia and Russia.

Diane holds a BFA degree from the California Institute of the Arts and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School. As a member of the Colorado Quartet for twenty years, Diane performed in more than 20 countries. The Quartet was the first all-female string quartet to perform the complete Beethoven Quartet cycle in both North America and Europe, and their critically acclaimed recordings of these works can be heard on the Parnassus label.

Diane holds a Special Prize from the International Cello Competition in Viña del Mar, Chile, and a Certificate from the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. She performs a “First Tuesday” solo cello livestream concert every month, available on her YouTube or Facebook, and over the course of three years has learned more than 200 pieces of solo cello repertoire. Diane has a large class of private students both online and in Portland, and teaches online technique classes through the Cello Refinery.

Q&A with Diane

Which musician has influenced you the most?

All cellists

What can you teach me better on your instrument than any other teacher?

I focus on learning really good technique and how to balance the body so that you are producing the most beautiful sound with the least effort.

How did you learn to play your instrument?

I took private lessons starting at age 8.

What equipment do you play on today?

Carlo Antonio Testore cello, 1740; Emile Ouchard bow from the 1950s

Which personal trait helped you the most while practicing?

Being disciplined with time; always practicing on a schedule.

What does your instrument have that others don't?

The cello is the instrument most like the human voice, so it reaches into your soul.

How do you handle children?

I don't teach students younger 8, usually, and try to do many short things in a lesson for children above that age. I also use really specific short-term goals.

What has been your greatest experience as a musician so far?

Touring the world and playing concerts.

What was the biggest stage you played on?

Biggest in size? I've played in Carnegie Hall a bunch of times; I think that's the most famous.

Which record would you take with you to the desert island?

I would just take my cello and play instead of listening to recordings.

Besides music, what else is important in your life?

Good food, good company, traveling.

Music style(s)


Level(s) Comfortable Teaching

Beginner to Advanced

What languages can you teach in?



Bands, Projects, Notable Performances, Collaborations

Portland Cello Project

Personal Interests

I live in Italy during the summer

We have expert teachers who teach in all styles of music; experts in Jazz, Classical, Pop, and more.

Ready to learn?