Over the course of his life–growing up in Pennsylvania, as a student in Cleveland, New Haven, and New York, and as a professional musician traversing many continents–American violinist Nicholas DiEugenio is guided by a firm conviction that music is a central experience in the expression of humanity. Having attended countless live performances of his friends and mentors, he has been fortunate to repeatedly experience the inspirational power of the transcendent moment through music, and pursues artistic projects with the aim to create and partake of this shared live experience within a community of listeners.
Whether performing in a middle school in North Dakota, a farmhouse in France, a concert hall in New York, a bar in Brooklyn, or a church in Germany, he has discovered that music must be allowed to find a natural context for meaning. He strives to create and participate in joyous and visceral musical programs that invite and challenge the listener all at once. Seeking to live on the edge in both “modern” and “baroque” sensibilities, he performs on various instruments in various states of historical undress, always searching–not so much for how music may have sounded–but more for what music may have meant at its birth, and for what it might mean now. This pursuit inspires and suffuses his musical goals as a performer, teacher, collaborator, recording artist, writer, and listener.
Violinist Nicholas DiEugenio’s colorful playing is lauded for its “rapturous poetry” (American Record Guide), and as “excellent” and “evocative” (New York Times). A joyous, inspired, edgy, and visceral artist, Nicholas leads a versatile performing life as a leader, chamber musician, and soloist in music ranging from early baroque to current commissions.
A core member of the Sebastians, a period group hailed as “topnotch” by the New Yorker and “everywhere sharp-edged and engaging” by the New York Times, Nicholas also performs and records with pianist Mimi Solomon. Their award-winning duo project “Unraveling Beethoven” comprises a full cycle of the Beethoven violin sonatas along with response works from composers Tonia Ko, Robert Honstein, Jesse Jones, Allen Anderson, and D.K. Garner.
His recording of the complete Schumann violin sonatas with fortepiano with Chi-Chen Wu, named one of the Top 10 albums of 2015 (The Big City) is available on the Musica Omnia label. His August 2017 release on the New Focus label with Mimi Solomon, critically lauded as “a touching, committed tribute” (I Care If You Listen), is an homage to the late Pullitzer Prize-winner Steven Stucky. The disc features Stucky’s Sonata for violin and piano, two new works by Stucky’s students Jesse Jones and Tonia Ko, and the previously unrecorded Violin Sonata of Robert Palmer.
A two-time prize-winner at the prestigious Fischoff competition, Nicholas dedicates his priorities as a performer to chamber music. He has collaborated with Laurie Smukler, Joel Krosnick, Joseph Lin, Peter Salaff, and Ani Kavafian, as well as members of the Meta4 Quartet. As a baroque and classical violinist, he has performed in chamber music settings with violinists Ingrid Matthews and Aislinn Nosky, as well as members of Tafelmusik, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He is also an alum of the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, where he was deeply influenced by the musicianship of pianist Seymour Lipkin. At the same time, Nicholas also strives to incorporate musical elements from some of his favorite rock icons such Jimi Hendrix, Anthony Kiedis, and Thom Yorke.
Regarded as an inspiring teacher, Nicholas is currently Associate Professor of Violin at UNC Chapel Hill, and is co-artistic director of MYCO, a non-profit chamber music organization for middle and high school students. Formerly Assistant Professor of Violin at the Ithaca College School of Music, Nicholas continues as a faculty member of the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont during the summers. Nicholas holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music (B.M, M.M), where he studied with David and Linda Cerone and Paul Kantor, and the Yale School of Music (D.M.A., A.D.), where he was a student of Ani Kavafian. Nicholas performs on a baroque violin made by Karl Dennis in 2011, and also on a 1734 violin made by Dom Nicolo Amati.
He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife and partner, pianist Mimi Solomon, and their dog Tengo the Plott Hound.