A Chicago native, Gina DiBello developed an intense passion for music at a very young age, inspired by her parents; her father Joseph is a veteran bass player with the CSO and her mother Bonita a violinist with the Lyric Opera Orchestra. She began her violin studies at age 4 with Betty Haag and made her solo debut at age 15, performing the Glazunov Concerto with the Kishwaukee Symphony. The next year she also appeared as a soloist with the Midwest Young Artists Youth Orchestra, a group she was a member of for eight years while growing up in the Chicago area. Gina then went on to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Juilliard School.

Why did you choose your instrument?

My mom is a violinist, and when I was little, I loved to emulate her. I used to pretend “play” with a brush and comb!

What work are you most looking forward to performing this season, and why?

I have a deep relationship with Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 and have had the good fortune to have played it with some great orchestras over the last few years. I was excited to play it here at home with the CSO and Bernard Haitink in October. And I’m really looking forward to playing Mahler’s First Symphony with Maestro Muti in June.

Offstage, I like to:

Practice yoga, cook, eat and spend time with family and friends.

Favorite food or meal:

I’ve been having a great time exploring some Chicago restaurants. I love the Neapolitan pizza at Spacca Napoli in Ravenswood — all their ingredients come from Italy. I also love the ramen at Wasabi in Logan Square.

Favorite book or movie:

In the last few years I have been really hooked on the novels by Haruki Murakami. I’m addicted! A few of my favorites of his are 1Q84, Kafka on the Shore, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World.


HOMETOWN: Lincolnshire, Ill.


EDUCATION: The Cleveland Institute of Music, the Juilliard School.

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