Diane Evans, the longtime principal harp of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, has been named Visiting Associate Professor of Harp at Oberlin Conservatory. She will begin her new role in fall 2022.
Evans replaces Yolanda Kondonassis, Oberlin’s harp professor since 1997, who will retire from the conservatory at the conclusion of the spring 2022 semester.
A native of Northeast Ohio, Evans studied harp at Oberlin, where she was a student of legendary professor and Cleveland Orchestra harpist Alice Chalifoux. She began her career with positions in the Toledo Symphony—a role she fulfilled while still a student at Oberlin—and the Omaha Symphony, before joining the Indianapolis Symphony in 1981.
With the orchestra, Evans delights in performing a virtually endless array of repertoire, from concert hall staples to world premieres, as well as operas and pops concerts. She has served as soloist for numerous works throughout her career and enjoys performing chamber music.
In addition to her onstage career, Evans taught harp for many years at Butler University. In the studio, she emphasizes individually tailored instruction and a problem-solving approach for each student.
“I try to evaluate what’s going on and what the student is thinking. Then I address the situation in a process-oriented way,” she says. “I try to open the door to my students’ own creative expression, and I try to be in the moment with them. And when a challenge arises, I think of it as a puzzle to solve—and there's always a way, if we explore deeply enough.”
Evans recalls Oberlin as an idyllic locale for her own musical studies.
“I loved it here,” she says, recounting her various conservatory mentors and the numerous college courses—among them art history, astronomy, and philosophy—she pursued. “I wanted to take advantage of all that Oberlin had to offer. I received an outstanding education, full of information and ideas that have informed every day of my professional career.
“Returning to teach at Oberlin is a satisfying and profoundly meaningful step for me. This closes the circle of my musical life, allowing me to offer the superb legacy that was nurtured for me at Oberlin to today's talented and dedicated students.”
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