was appointed principal cello of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 1986–87
season by Sir Georg Solti. He was, at 27, among the youngest players ever in a
CSO principal chair. Prior to his Chicago appointment, Sharp was a member of
the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and principal cello of the Cincinnati Symphony
(1983–1986) and the New York String Orchestra under Alexander Schneider.
has been a featured soloist for the CSO’s recording of Strauss’s Don Quixote, in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Itzhak Perlman and
Daniel Barenboim, and in Britten’s Symphony for Cello and Orchestra under
performed in chamber music concerts across the nation, including appearances at
the Marlboro Music Festival and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
A native of
Waco, Texas, John Sharp began to play cello in school at the age of 10 and took
his first private lessons at thirteen with Lev Aronson. Following a year at
Southern Methodist University in Dallas, he enrolled at the Juilliard School,
where he earned a master’s degree. While there, he studied with Lynn Harrell
and appeared as soloist twice with Juilliard orchestras, including the New York
premiere of Rorem’s Remembering Tommy.
In 1986, he won third prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in
of cello at Roosevelt University, John Sharp also coaches the cello section of
the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
He plays a
rare cello made by Joseph Guarnerius in 1694.