Obituary: Louis Nicolia, longtime Erie Philharmonic violinist, 62

Posted on: December 16, 2021

“Violinist Louis Nicolia, a 40-year member of the Erie Philharmonic who once performed at Carnegie Hall, died Wednesday,” writes Dana Massing in Friday’s (12/10) Erie Times-News (PA). Nicolia was 62; no cause of death is listed. “ ‘Lou was such a heart-of-gold person,’ Steve Weiser, executive director of the Erie Philharmonic, said…. Similar tributes to the longtime Erie County musician with the distinctive white beard, whose family had owned and operated Pio’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria … flooded social media after his death.… Nicolia, who had also played violin for the Erie Chamber Orchestra … joined the Erie Junior Philharmonic while in high school…. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music performance from West Virginia University…. In 1981, Nicolia joined the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra and the Erie Chamber Orchestra…. With the Erie Phil, Nicolia was always among the first to agree to take part in a musical petting zoo for children … Weiser said…. Nicolia’s last Erie Philharmonic performance was an Erie Phil Strings concert Sept. 8 in Gibson Park … part of the Phil’s free outdoor ‘In Your Hometown’ summer tour…. Over the years, he also was part of various smaller ensembles, including Celtic Hooligans and Bootlegger’s Bible Club.” Survivors include Nicolia’s wife, Diane, and three daughters.