About John Dee
John Dee is the Bill A. Nugent Endowed Professor of Music Performance and Professor of Oboe Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also served as a Visiting Professor at DePaul University in Chicago for two years, replacing the former Principal Oboe of the Chicago Symphony. For over twenty years he was the Principal Oboe of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra and the Florida Grand Opera (Miami-Palm Beach) and at the same time, he was the Oboe Professor at the University of Miami and Artist in Residence at the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University. Prior to this, John was Principal Oboe of the Florida Orchestra in Tampa, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has performed with orchestras such as the: Hong Kong, Chicago, Saint Louis, Atlanta and Columbus Symphony Orchestras and he has worked with such conductors as: Carlo Maria Guilini, Claudio Abbado, Sir Georg Solti and James Levine. His teachers include: June Wollwage and Gladys Elliot of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Daniel Stolper at Interlochen, Robert Mayer and Ray Still of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra-Northwestern University, and John Mack of the Cleveland Orchestra-Cleveland Institute of Music.
John has collaborated with nearly every major performing artist in the world including: Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Kiri Te Kanawa, Cecilia Bartoli, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Cararras, Placido Domingo, Yahudi Mehnuin, Isaac Stern, Nathan Milstein, Uto Ugi, Isaac Perlman, Pinkhas Zuckerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Janos Starker, Mstislav Rostropovich, Martha Argarich, Andre Watts, Emanual Axe, Yefim Bronfman, James Galway, Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Linda Ronstadt, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Nelson Riddle, Henry Mancini, Peter Nero, Ella Fitzgerald, Doc Severensen and Winton Marsailas. He has taught and performed at major music festivals throughout the world and with renown ensembles such as the: Alexander, Miami, Lark, Ying, Vega, Jupiter, Serafin and Pacifica String Quartets.
Featured in weekly national broadcasts on over 140 radio stations, his solo performances of the Strauss and Mozart Oboe Concertos were met with critical acclaim. The Miami Herald wrote, “his shading and inflection are worthy of major recording artists.” John can be heard on the Klavier, Altarus, Spectrum, CDS, Harmonia Mundi, CBS Masterworks, and Philips record labels and he is featured on Grammy Award winning recordings, hundreds of commercial recordings and five solo CD’s. His solo CD “Under A Near Sky,” features the Mozart Oboe Quartet and Loeffler Trio Rhapsodies and was reviewed by the International Double Reed Society Journal writing, “I was delighted to encounter Robert Bloom’s recording (Yale-NBC Symphony), Robert Sprenkle’s (Eastman-Rochester), and later John Mack’s version (Cleveland Orchestra), but even happier to recommend John Dee’s interpretation.” Albany Records released his latest recording “Music from America and Abroad” being critically acclaimed writing, “Hearing John Dee’s mastery of the single musical line is an education in how to phrase using every element of sound to its fullest tasteful measure” and “Dee phrases exactly as one would speak about congenial matters to a good friend.”
John has performed for the Pope and worked with musical icons such as; Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and Jose Carreras individually and in numerous opera productions. He also performed with Jose Carreras in the Dominican Republic with the National Symphony and has performed as soloist with I Solisti Aquilani in Italy. He assisted the Yamaha Corporation in the development of their professional model oboe in Japan, he has performed in Beijing and Shanghai and has been invited numerous times to perform in Spain and Korea. He was the featured guest soloist on the internationally syndicated television program The Joy of Music, with host and organist Diane Bish. Televised performances were recorded in Victoria B.C., Vancouver, throughout Alaska, and in California at Saint Mary’s Cathedral, and at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
John has been awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award by the National Endowment for the Arts numerous times, he appears in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and has been a frequent guest on NPR’s Performance Today. His new reed-making companion guide, Oboe Reed-Making from Blank to Crow, has been enthusiastically received and is now available internationally. His oboe students have also earned prestigious performance and teaching positions throughout the world.
I realize that all students have different personalities and strengths that become their unique signature of sound and musicality. It is my privilege to help them perfect or improve their unique talents and potential. I do not teach students to play like me or imitate my particular sound but intend for them to become skilled artists who are confident with their ability to express themselves freely. I believe in high educational standards in fundamentals, reed-making, technique, musicality and the qualities essential in preparing students to be competitive in today’s environment.
BA in Music with honors, Northeastern Illinois University with MM Studies at Florida International University
Oboe student of: June Wollwage (Lyric Opera), Robert Mayer (Chicago Symphony), Daniel Stolper (Interlochen), Gladys Elliot (Lyric Opera), Ray Still (Chicago Symphony) and John Mack (Cleveland Orchestra).