HARRY DEXTER (1910 - 1973)
Harry Dexter was born in Sheffield. Classically trained, he obtained a Bachelor of Music degree at Durham University. He had several substantial choral and orchestral works to his name. Whilst serving as an army Captain overseas in World War II he wrote a prize-winning symphony. After the war it was a not unfamiliar story of a musician from the north seeking to establish himself in London, tramping the streets, song plugging and arranging for various publishers.
During the fifties his fortunes changed, with the increasing acceptance by the broadcasters of his tuneful light orchestral pieces. One of them, for instance, was the signature-tune for the original Maigret series for BBC Television. He joined the staff of the London music publisher, Francis, Day and Hunter, in charge of its light orchestral and mood- music output, offering valuable encouragement and opportunities to his fellow- composers in this field. In a parallel career, so to speak, Dexter was music critic for several important periodicals. In 1956 he founded the Light Music Society, with Eric Coates as its first President, and served as its Chairman for several years.