Link: UCOP's e-newsletter

Stay Informed. Stay Connected.

10-Second Bio: Nicola Gruen, violinist

Nicola Gruen

Nicola Gruen

Name: Nicola Gruen

Title: Development Analyst

Department: Institutional Advancement

Location: Franklin, Oakland

Started: April 2016

What I do for OP in five words or less: Systemwide private support and policy analysis

The best part about working for OP: Vibrant downtown Oakland reminds me of the Berkeley of my childhood.

Something you don’t know about me: I am a professional violinist and once performed with Eric Clapton. When I lived in London, I recorded commercials and movie soundtracks at Abbey Road Studio — including for Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” and “Sweet Home Alabama.” I also performed in the English National Ballet and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, touring Europe and recording on live TV and radio. Today, I continue to play violin professionally, sometimes with other UCOP staff!

One weird fact about the town I grew up in: To-die-for pork baos used to be only 60 cents outside of the Downtown Berkeley BART station!

If I could have any job in the world (besides the one I have now), I would be: An endocrinologist

Catch an upcoming performance

Enjoy Nicola’s music in person by attending one of her upcoming engagements:

  • Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore with the Lamplighters Orchestra. Attend August 17 or 18 in San Francisco or August 24 or 25 in Livermore. Gregory Sykes, academic policy and compensation data analyst, will also be performing. Buy tickets.
  • California Sound Collective. On August 24, Nicola will perform in El Cerrito along with Margaret Wu, deputy general counsel, litigation and capital strategies. Learn more.


The 10-Second Bio is one of Link’s most popular features, and for a good reason.

We all like to learn about our colleagues — what they do and enjoy about working at UCOP and what makes them tick. If you’ve never submitted a bio, we invite you to do so. It only takes a few minutes and it’s an easy, fun way for us all to get to know the people we work with.

Submit your 10-Second Bio to Link!

Comment ( 1 )

Have Something To Say ?

  1. Mark Cianca August 13, 2019 Reply

    Hoorah for musicians! In my experience musicians bring great creativity to their work, be it administrative or artistic.

Leave your comment here