Obituary: Longtime Atlanta Symphony cellist Christopher Rex, 71

Posted on: April 22, 2022

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra cellist Christopher Rex, “who joined the ASO as principal cellist in 1979 and performed for 39 seasons before announcing his retirement in 2018,” died on March 22, writes Jordan Owen in Thursday’s (4/21) Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Before the ASO, Rex was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy for seven seasons. Born February 1, 1951, to Charles Gordon Rex and Betty McCauslin Rex in Winter Park, Florida, Christopher Rex began to learn the cello at the insistence of his father—who similarly assigned his brother Charles to the violin. Filmmaker Cristina Cassidy’s 2016 documentary ‘Concerto for Two Brothers’ tells the story of the brothers’ early life with unflinching candor: Their father was an immensely talented musician and composer in his own right, but also a menacing patriarch … [Christopher’s brother] Charles joined the New York Philharmonic in 1981…. In 2001 [Christopher Rex] created the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, an annual celebration [featuring] Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Wynton Marsalis and Zuill Bailey, among many others. He was also the artistic director of the Madison Chamber Music Festival…. A memorial service will be held … on April 23…. There will also be a concert on May 9 in Rex’s honor to close this year’s Madison Chamber Music Festival.” Rex is survived by his wife, Martha Wilkins, two siblings, and a daughter and son.