Wolfram Christ was born on October 17, 1955, in Hachenburg, Germany. He studied violin from age six, but transferred to the viola at 12. At 20 he won first prize at the Munich-based ARD International Music Competition. Christ launched his international career, but in 1978 was engaged by Herbert von Karajan to become the principal violist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Christ held the post until 1999.
Meanwhile, he made frequent appearances as soloist, many with the Berlin Philharmonic. He also made numerous recordings, both as soloist and in chamber music. In 1992 he was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque for his DG recording of the Debussy Trio for flute, viola, and harp.
From 1995-2000 Christ served as artistic director and advisor to the Sydney Music Conservatory. Since 1999 he has held a professorship in viola at the Freiburg Musikhochschule.
In the new century Christ has turned his attention to conducting, serving in the Kurpfalz Chamber post for four years (2004-2008) and regularly leading the Basel Chamber Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and other European ensembles. Among Christ's later recordings is the acclaimed 2003 EMI CD of the Dvorák Quintet for Piano and Strings with Sarah Chang, Leif Ove Andsnes, and others.