Dembeck, John

John Dembeck. Violinist, violist, b New York 1914, naturalized Canadian, d Toronto 14 Mar 1993. Dembeck studied violin from age six, going on to graduate from Juilliard. He made his Town Hall debut in 1937, and appeared as soloist with American quartets and symphony orchestras and on network radio, including seven years as soloist and concertmaster for "Friends of Music" of Connecticut. Dembeck moved to Toronto in 1940. He served 1941-8 and 1957-61 in the first violins of the TSO, was the viola 1943-5 in the Parlow String Quartet, principal viola with the CBC String Orchestra ca 1943, and was concertmaster in 1945 for the Promenade Symphony Concerts and concertmaster 1952-3 and later a violinist with the CBC Symphony Orchestra, with which he also was soloist in the Sibelius Concerto. He recorded Brott's Violin Concerto with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1952, RCI 71) and contributed to various other recordings. He founded his Dembeck String Quartet 1950; after its demise 1961, Dembeck became a freelance violinist in Toronto and gave duo recitals with his wife, the pianist Anna Drake Dembeck. By 1990 Dembeck had retired from performance.