JOHN DEXTER, violist, was born into a family of professional musicians who at an early age recruited him for the family quartet. His musical training began in Des Moines, Iowa where he received his first performance degree at Drake University. He then traveled to New York City via a short army stay in the West Point Quartet to study at the Juilliard School with such luminaries as Dorothy Delay and Lillian Fuchs. Performing in a string quartet from his earliest years proved a powerful force on his performance career and he began his concertizing with the Madison String Quartet. During the time he served as their violist from 1973-1979, Mr. Dexter was a member of the Colgate University and Hamilton College faculties; performed extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe; and made several recordings of contemporary music.
Since joining the Manhattan String Quartet in 1980, Mr. Dexter has made twenty critically acclaimed recordings; given Music Mountain radio broadcasts to millions; presented three Shostokovich cycles in New York City and on French radio. His touring with the quartet has taken him to North and South America, to Europe and on three historic tours of the former Soviet Union during the Glasnost era.
Mr. Dexter is constantly expanding his activities as soloist with orchestra and guest artist with other chamber groups. His recording of Anthony Newman’s Viola Concerto on Newport Classics has been accorded high praise by the critics for his virtuosity and musical poetry.
As Principal Violist he has performed with the New York City Opera Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the Joffrey Ballet in New York City, the American Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Mr. Dexter maintains a very active teaching schedule with a large private studio for individual lessons and chamber music coaching.