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. 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. In 1986, he won third prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.