Nancy Bien is a bona fide California native: born in Hollywood, grew up in the Central Valley, and moved to the Bay Area as a teenager. She began taking piano lessons when she was 6 years old, was handed a cello three years later and never looked back. After getting both a BA and an MA in music (performance), she played and taught on the East Coast for a few years, but longed to return to California.
In an intensely impulsive minute one summer, she quit her full time symphony job so she could be free to move back to San Francisco. Poorer, but much happier, she quickly became an active freelancer throughout the greater Bay Area. In addition to playing with the Temescal String Quartet, she is the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Marin and Vallejo Symphonies, a member of the Berkeley Symphony , regularly plays with West Edge Opera , and is the cellist with Resonance Jazz Ensemble , a Bay Area jazz octet.
Nancy lives with her youngest son in a cozy old house in Richmond. When she puts the cello down, she directs her creative energy toward painting vibrant, expressive figure paintings of strong women.