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John Dee

Bill A. Nugent Endowed Professor of Performance Studies / Professor of Oboe

University of Illinois; BA (with honors) Northeastern Illinois University; Florida International University;(Student of June Wollwage, Robert Mayer, Dan Stolper, Mike Henoch, Gladys Elliot, John Mack and Ray Still.)

John Dee is the Bill A. Nugent Endowed Professor of Music Performance and Professor of Oboe at the University of Illinois. He was principal oboe of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra and Florida Grand Opera for over twenty years and also Oboe Professor at the University of Miami and the Harid Conservatory of Music. Prior to this, he was principal oboe of the Florida Orchestra in Tampa, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. His teachers include; June Wollwage and Gladys Elliot of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Daniel Stolper at Interlochen, Robert Mayer, Michael Henoch and Ray Still of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Northwestern University, and John Mack of the Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Institute of Music.

Featured in weekly national broadcasts on over 140 radio stations with the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, his solo performances of the Strauss and Mozart Oboe Concertos with the FPO were met with critical acclaim. The Miami Herald wrote, ”his shading and inflection were worthy of major recording artists who trot the globe as oboe soloists.” He has been featured on Grammy Award winning recordings, hundreds of commercial CD’s and foursolo CD recordings. His “Under a Near Sky” solo CD (Klavier Records), features the Mozart Oboe Quartet, Loeffler Trio Rhapsodies, Vaughan Williams English Folk Songs and a premiere work written expressly for Dee by Clark McAllister entitled “Vergine,” for oboe, guitar and strings. Reviewed by the IDRS Journal, ” I was delighted to encounter Robert Bloom‘s recording, Robert Sprenkle’s, and later John Mack’s version but even happier to recommend John Dee’s interpretation. John Dee has that not-too-bright, not-too-dark, just right, liquid, melting tone that becomes a malleable vehicle for discourse, while retaining its own timbral beauty.”  The recent release of his CD “Music from America and Abroad” for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano (Albany Records), has also met with critical acclaim in Contemporary by Elaine Fine writing, “Dee and Chowning (piano) play with humor, serious expression, and true beauty,” and, “Dee phrases exactly as one would speak about congenial matters to a good friend.”  

He has performed and recorded with such orchestras as the Chicago, Saint Louis and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras and has worked with such conductors as; James Levine, Claudio Abbado and Sir Georg Solti. John has collaborated with nearly every major performing artist in the world including; Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jose Cararras, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zuckerman, Yo-Yo Ma and pop artists: Ella Fitzgerald, Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias and Frank Sinatra. He has performed and taught at major music festivals throughout the world and has worked with such ensembles as the Alexander, Miami, Lark, Ying, Vega and Pacifica String Quartets.

He has performed for Pope John Paul II and can be seen on the internationally syndicated television series, “The Joy of Music,” with host and organist Diane Bish, having recorded as soloist throughout Alaska and in San Francisco at Grace Cathedral and Saint Mary’s Cathedral. He has also been the featured soloist in Italy with I Solisti Aquilani, assisted the Yamaha Corporation in the development of their professional model oboe in Japan, performed in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, China and has returned to Spain and again several times to teach and perform in Korea. His performances have been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, he is a regular guest artist at the International Double Reed Society annual conferences and he is invited to conduct oboe clinics and adjudicate national and international music competitions.

He has received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the National Endowment for the Arts several times, was awarded the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s “2014-2015 Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award” at Chicago’s Symphony Center and he appears in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. His oboe students have won and occupy prestigious professional positions throughout the world including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

John Dee performs as invited guest in Busan, Korea/ July 2014

John Dee performs as invited guest in Busan, Korea, July 2014

Teaching Philosophy

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. I believe in high educational standards in technique, musicality and reed making skills that are essential in preparing students to be competitive in auditioning for major positions. I want my students to become skilled artists who are confident, with their ability to express themselves freely.