Born in Rochester, New York, while her parents were attending the Eastman School of Music, Alison Dalton began her violins lessons at the age of five with her father. She studied with his mentors, Henri Temianka and William Primrose, before making her debut at the age of 13 with the Utah Symphony under Maurice Abravanel. Dalton completed her high school and college studies in the class of Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and went on to join the Austrian Radio Orchestra and Klaring Quartet in Vienna.
Since the top European orchestras’ audition policies excluded women, Dalton returned to her studies in America, earning her master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music with Glenn Dicterow and also with Shmuel Ashkenasi at Northern Illinois University.
Dalton was invited by Sir Georg Solti to become a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1987 and devotes her life to the rigors of being a member of the first violin section and raising her five children. She also enjoys travel (during a sabbatical leave from the Orchestra, she made solo treks to the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), dancing and teaching violin. She plays a 1707 Grancino of Milan violin.