Christopher Rex joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as principal cello in 1979, the same year in which he became the first cellist ever to win the string prize in the biennial Young Artists Competition of the National Federation of Music Clubs, and since then has appeared as recitalist and chamber musician across the nation.
He took up the cello at age eight, completing a family string quartet in his hometown of Winter Park, FL. Following his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with Orlando Cole and at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose, he was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra under director Eugene Ormandy for seven seasons. He has taught at Gettysburg College, the New School of Music in Philadelphia, Georgia State University, and the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina, and is now the Cello Chair of the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon.
In the summer of 1988, Mr. Rex shared acting principal duties for the New York Philharmonic’s European tour, replacing Lorne Munrow. Together with his brother, Charles Rex, associate concertmaster of that orchestra, he premiered the Double Concerto by Stephen Paulus with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic. As a tribute to their father, Charles Gordon Rex, Sr., the brothers presented a program in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, at which only music that was composed by their father was performed. They also appeared in Carnegie Hall as soloists with the Manhattan Philharmonic in The Muse and the Poet by Camille Saint-Saëns.
Mr. Rex’s most recent solo performances with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra include Strauss’s Don Quixote and concertos by Shostakovich, Victor Herbert, Dvorák and Elgar. He is a founding member of the Georgian Chamber Players, whose concerts have included guest performers such as Emanuel Ax, András Schiff, Misha Dichter, Yefim Bronfman, Robert McDuffie, Lynn Harrell, Ruth Laredo and Janos Starker. He founded and is the general and artistic director of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival in Florida. He is also artistic director of the Madison Chamber Music Festival in Georgia and is on the board of directors of Chamber Music America. Mr. Rex is a regular performer at the Highlands Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina and has been principal cellist of the orchestras at the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder and the Grand Tetons Music Festival in Wyoming. He as performed as soloist at the Brevard Music Festival and Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina and the Chautauqua Festival in New York. Last May he played at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, and this past March he performed Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto with the Atlanta Symphony.