Mihaela Ionescu came to Chicago in 1980 from Europe and over the years she has been very active as an orchestra musician, chamber musician and violin teacher.
Ionescu was born in Romania into a family of physicians. She started playing the violin at the age of seven, and since the age of nine, Ionescu has regularly played recitals and solo concerts and has participated in national and international competitions, including Bucharest in 1964 and 1976; Sion, Switzerland, in 1976 and 1978; and the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1978. At age 16, Ionescu left home and has traveled, studied and played in many cities and countries in Europe. She became a student of Stefan Gheorghiu and Cornelia Bronzetti at the C. Porumbescu Music Conservatory and also studied with Tibor Varga and André Gertler. She also had engagements with the Bern conservatory, the orchestra of Biel-Bienne and the Luzern Festival Orchestra under Sergiu Celibidache.
Since coming to Chicago, Ionescu has been a member of the first violin section of the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago and was principal second violin of the Grant Park Orchestra until 1987, when she was appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Sir Georg Solti. In addition to solo recitals, she has performed with most local ensembles and her own chamber music group, the Athenaeum Ensemble.
Mihaela has two adult sons, Michael and David, and two grandchildren. Her top priorities are balancing her career and family, but she greatly enjoys photography, interior design, gardening and traveling.