Nell French is the violist and a co-founder of Fontana. Nell grew up in southern California and is proud to be a third generation freelance musician. She studied viola at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Colorado, and has performed in recitals and concerts all over the continental US and in Europe. In 2000, she moved to the Kansas City area and loves it here.

When she’s not playing with KC’s favorite string trio, Nell’s viola can be heard lots of other places. She often joins KC Baroque, newEar Contemporary Music Ensemble and Kansas City Symphony. She has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Heritage Philharmonic, the St. Joseph Symphony, and the KC Bachathon. Nell also coaches chamber music, teaches her viola students, and likes to give clinics in schools. She plays on an American-made copy of a 1962 Romeo Antoniozzi viola (Robert McCluskie, 2000) and a Tyrolean classical viola (Jakob Staininger, 1792).

Nell is a junkie for cooking, yoga, wine, Frontline, the New York Times, CU basketball and football, and Trader Joe’s. She and her husband are the busy parents of a daughter, two dogs and a cat.