Grammy Award–winning percussionist Christopher S. Lamb joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Percussionist, The Constance R. Hoguet Friends of the Philharmonic Chair, in 1985, and made his solo debut with the Orchestra in the World Premiere of Joseph Schwantner’s Percussion Concerto, one of several commissions celebrating the Philharmonic’s 150th anniversary. He has since performed the work to critical acclaim with orchestras throughout the United States and in 2011 won a Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Soloist for his recording of it with the Nashville Symphony (on the Naxos label).
Mr. Lamb also gave the World Premiere of Tan Dun’s Concerto for Water Percussion, the second work commissioned for him by the New York Philharmonic, and has performed it on the Philharmonic’s tour to South America, as well as in Asia and Europe with such notable orchestras as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. In the United States, he has performed the work with the Boston, Baltimore, and the Pacific symphony orchestras. New York Philharmonic Music Director Emeritus Kurt Masur selected Mr. Lamb’s performance of the Tan Dun concerto for release in the Orchestra’s collection of recordings highlighting his tenure as Music Director. The third commission for Mr. Lamb by the New York Philharmonic — Susan Botti’s Echo Tempo for Soprano, Percussion, and Orchestra — was given its World Premiere by Ms. Botti, Mr. Lamb, and the New York Philharmonic led by Mr. Masur.
A faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music since 1989, Christopher Lamb has led clinics and master classes on almost every continent. In 1999 he was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholars Award to lecture and conduct research in Australia. During his five-month residency at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, he presented master classes and seminars titled “A Comprehensive Examination of Orchestral Percussion,” which has grown into a model for the art of teaching percussion. In 2010 Mr. Lamb was invited to join the faculty of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as an international fellow.
Mr. Lamb has recorded chamber works on the New World, Cala, and CRI labels. He is a former member of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic and a graduate of the Eastman School of Music.
© David Finlayson