5 Great People | 1 Good Question:
Dianne Nicolini, KDFC DJ
Welcome to our 40th Anniversary season blog where over the course of the season we will be asking five close friends of SFP, one good question each. Enjoy their responses!
KDFC’s midday DJ Dianne Nicolini is a native and current resident of Oakland and earned her degree in Dramatic Art at UC Berkeley. She got her start in radio at Classical KXTR in Kansas City. Returning to the Bay Area in 1983, she began announcing for Classical KKHI. She became the midday host on KDFC in 1995, and still looks forward to going into the studio every day. For ten years, she was the host of the SF Symphony broadcasts worldwide and from 2009 through 2017, was the host of the SF Opera’s internationally-syndicated broadcasts. She was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in September of 2016. In 2005, then-Mayor Gavin Newsom declared December 15th Dianne Nicolini Day in San Francisco. (“That and $10 will get you an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista!” says Nicolini.)
So what’s our One Good Question to ask Dianne?
You have no doubt heard many inspiring stories from your listeners about the role classical music plays in their daily lives. What is your favorite story?
Wow. It’s tough to zero in on just one story. In fact, we’re presenting our KDFC Love at First Listen Week right now, in which we ask the listeners to tell us how, where, when they got hooked on classical music. As you can imagine, the great stories just keep pouring in.
In terms of music’s role in their daily lives, our listeners most frequently describe listening to us while driving to and from school, soccer practice, etc. with their kids and how the classical music keeps everybody in the car calm and happy. Plus, it might even teach them a little something along the way!
The most memorable and moving stories for me are about how the music can be a balm in difficult times. Listeners have described going through illnesses or the loss of a loved one, and how the music had a healing effect on them. Whether they were recovering from a broken leg or a broken heart, something beautiful from Beethoven, Mozart, Debussy, or Philip Glass can be the perfect prescription.
Recently, I met a special needs teacher who said she listened to us every day in her Hayward classroom. Her gratitude for the music and the positive atmosphere it fosters in her daily life is one of the many reasons I love my job!