Houston Symphony cellist’s second career: fitness trainer

Posted on: January 5, 2016

“To stay in top musical form, cellist Chris French practices five hours a day,” writes Sonia Zuniga in Thursday’s (12/24) Houston Chronicle (Texas; subscription required). “Then he sets aside his instrument and heads to the gym for a different kind of preparation—one that makes him both a healthier person and a stronger member of the Houston Symphony. ‘Most people don’t realize how physically grueling it is,’ French said…. His own scare came when he … discovered he had tendonitis in his right rotator cuff, a terrifying diagnosis for someone who must hold a 4-foot-tall wooden instrument upright for hours on end. French, who is the associate principal cellist for the symphony and teaches orchestral repertoire at Rice University, said he’s always been athletic.… Over time, he found himself giving advice to other musicians, leading to a decision to become a certified fitness trainer in 2003. ‘I see overuse injuries all of the time, and it’s about posture and the strength of the larger muscle groups,’ French said…. Now, on top of his performance schedule, he works with clients at Houston Gym. Some are symphony colleagues, but many are not.” The article includes five shoulder workout tips from Chris French.

Posted January 5, 2016

Chris French photo by Marie D. De Jesus / Houston Chronicle