Carter Brey was appointed Principal Cellist of the New York Philharmonic in 1996, and made his subscription début as soloist with the Orchestra in May 1997, performing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, led by former Music Director Kurt Masur. He has performed as soloist in subsequent seasons in the Elgar Cello Concerto with André Previn conducting; in William Schuman’s A Song of Orpheus with Christian Thielemann; in Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote with Music Director Lorin Maazel and with former Music Director Zubin Mehta; and in the Brahms Double Concerto with Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and conductor Christoph Eschenbach.
Brey rose to international attention in 1981 as a prizewinner in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition. Subsequent appearances with Mstislav Rostropovich and the National Symphony Orchestra were unanimously praised. The winner of the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Prize, Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Young Concert Artists’ Michaels Award, and other honors, he also was the first musician to win the Arts Council of America’s Performing Arts Prize, and has performed as soloist with many of America’s major symphony orchestras.
His chamber music career is equally distinguished. He has made regular appearances with the Tokyo and Emerson string quartets as well as The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Spoleto Festival in the U.S. and Italy, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music and La Jolla Chamber Music festivals, among others. He presents an ongoing series of duo recitals with pianist Christopher O’Riley; together they have recorded The Latin American Album, a disc of compositions from South America and Mexico (Helicon Records). His recording with Garrick Ohlsson of the complete works of Chopin for cello and piano was released by Arabesque in the Fall of 2002 to great acclaim.
Brey was educated at the Peabody Institute, where he studied with Laurence Lesser and Stephen Kates, and at Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot and was a Wardwell Fellow and a Houpt Scholar. He lives in New York City with his wife, Ilaria Dagnini Brey, and their two children, Ottavia and Lucas. Among his outside interests are marathon running, ballroom dancing, and sailing (he holds two U.S. Sailing certifications and restored a classic sloop that he sails out of City Island).