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 community. Raised and educated in suburban Addison, Illinois, Mues began her viola studies at the age of nine with Elaine Duckwall, which led 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 a bachelor’s degree at DePaul University where she was a student of longtime Chicago Symphony 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 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 collaborations in the Orchestra’s citywide educational programs, various chamber music performances, and on WFMT-FM Chicago.