Colloquium Series: John Sharp, Principal Cello of the Chicago Symphony and
This Event Occurred in the Past.
The Gustavus Music Department presents Chicago Symphony principal cellist John Sharp and Grant Park Symphony Orchestra violinist Liba Schacht in concert. This performance is free and open to the public, no tickets are required. About the Performers: John Sharp 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. John Sharp 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 Mstislav Rostropovich. He has 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 Moscow. A professor of cello at Roosevelt University, John Sharp also coaches the cello section of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Violinist Liba Shacht was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, where she began her musical studies at age five. Shortly thereafter, her family emigrated to Israel. The recipient of an Artist Diploma with distinction from Tel Aviv University, Ms. Shacht appeared as soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Broadcasting Symphony, the Israeli Sinfonietta, and in chamber orchestras and recitals throughout Israel. She represented Israel at the Jeunesses Musicales World Congress in Korea, Japan, and England, where she performed chamber music at the Royal Albert Hall. Upon the recommendation of Isaac Stern, Ms. Shacht was awarded a special Fellowship by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation to study with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School in New York. She earned a master's degree and a doctorate from Juilliard. Her New York recital debut at Town Hall was marked by a glowing review from The New York Times :"Miss Shacht plays with Russian intensity, yet her performances are tempered with abundant humor. She delights in her nimble technique, and virtuosic displays present few obstacles. Prokofiev Sonata in D was played with explosive energy, and Schumann's Sonata in a minor was enriched with a dark, songful melancholy." Ms. Shacht is the winner of several competitions, among them the Artist International Distinguished Artists Award, which led to her first appearance at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. As the winner of the Affiliated Artists national auditions, she has toured the United States extensively, performing with critical acclaim in recitals, playing with orchestras, and conducting master classes. She later performed as soloist in the rarely-played Glazunov Violin Concerto with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Shacht is an avid performer of chamber music. She has participated in the Aspen Music Festival and the Marlboro Music Festival, where she performed with Rudolf Serkin and members of the Guarneri Quartet, as well as the chamber music series at the 92nd Street "Y" in New York. She is a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as principal second violin of the Grant Park Symphony. Ms. Shacht frequently performs with her husband, cellist John Sharp. He plays a rare cello made by Joseph Guarnerius in 1694.