Although born in Wisconsin, “Dean” Witter was raised in Los Angeles CA. His early studies were with Halsey Stevens in composition and Ethel Leginska in piano.
When he was a teenager his family moved to San Francisco where he continued his studies in piano with Egon Petri and composition with Darius Milhaud and Alexander Tcherepnin.
At the age of 17 he traveled with his family to Paris, where he continued to live and study for the next 10 years. He attended the Conservatory of Paris as well as the École Normale where he received degrees in both piano and composition. His teachers there included Nadia Boulanger and Yvette Descaves, and he also studied separately with residing American pianists Julius Katchen and Leon Fleisher. While in Europe, Witter concertized frequently, playing his own compositions as well as standard classical repertoire.
Upon returning to the United States he settled in San Francisco, where he currently lives and composes with his wife and children. His many compositions include three symphonies as well as much chamber music and multiple works for piano.