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John Sharp -
Teacher John Sharp

United States

Chicago, IL

Cellist type:

Performing fields:
solo, chamber, orchestra

Lev Aronson
Lynn Harrell
Christopher Cortez
Yi Xin

Just four years out of the Juilliard School of Music, John Sharp found himself in the enviable position of being selected principal cello of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Sir Georg Solti. When he began, in the 1986-1987 season, he was, at twenty-seven, among the youngest players ever in a CSO principal's chair. Yet his professional career did not begin in Chicago. He served as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and, from 1983 to 1986, as principal cello of the Cincinnati Symphony. Just before his arrival in Chicago in July 1986, he added third prize in Moscow's prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition to his achievements. He has been a featured soloist here in Dvorák's Cello Concerto, for a recording of Strauss's Don Quixote, and in Beethoven's Triple Concerto with Itzhak Perlman and Daniel Barenboim.

A native of Waco, Texas, John took his first lessons at the age of thirteen with Lev Aronson, who also had taught Lynn Harrell and Ralph Kirshbaum. Following a year at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, he enrolled at Juilliard, where he earned a master's degree in music. While there, he studied with Lynn Harrell and appeared twice as soloist with Juilliard orchestras at Alice Tully Hall, including the New York premiere of Ned Rorem's Remembering Tommy.

As principal cello of the New York String Orchestra under Alexander Schneider, he played in concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He also performed as soloist at Carnegie Hall with the Cincinnati Philharmonia. John's work as a chamber musician has resulted in performances across the nation, including at the Marlboro Music Festival, with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and at the summer chamber music festivals in Seattle, Santa Fe, and Vail, Colorado. He has performed with Pinchas Zukerman, Christoph Eschenbach, Richard Stoltzman, Misha Dichter, and the Vermeer Quartet. He frequently appears as soloist with other orchestras in the Chicago area.

John plays a very rare cello made by Joseph Guarnerius in 1694.

John and his wife Liba Shacht, a violinist with the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago, have two daughters, Naomi and Avigayl.

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This cellist was posted by Johann Paetsch and last edited on 14 May 2004 at 10:17:16 PM.