With an early ear for music and encouragement from her family, violist Diane Mues developed her playing through vigorous engagement in the Chicago classical music scene. Raised and educated in suburban Addison, Mues began her viola studies at the age of 9 with Elaine Duckwall, leading to participation in the Chicago Youth Symphony, where she earned the principal viola chair under conductor Dudley Powers.
She then began working with Ruth Ray, a student of Leopold Auer, IN, a period that greatly enriched her musical development. She earned her bachelor’s degree at DePaul University where she was a student of long-time CSO Principal Viola Milton Preves. While in college, she was principal viola of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and received the Louis Sudler Foundation for the Arts Award. Following participation in the Tanglewood Berkshire Music Festival, Mues was appointed assistant principal viola of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra. She joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1987. Over the years, she has enjoyed many further collaborations with her CSO colleagues in the Orchestra’s city-wide educational programs, various chamber music performances and on WFMT.