Born on 8 August 1924 in London to amateur musicians, the English cellist, composer and teacher Christopher Bunting began learning the cello at six years old with Ivor James. He abandoned his engineering studies for music, graduating at Cambridge in 1947. He studied cello with Maurice Eisenberg, both in the UK and the USA, and was awarded a scholarship in 1952 to study for a year with Casals, whose inspiration formed the basis for Bunting's own teaching.
He premièred the Finzi cello concerto at Cheltenham in 1955 with Barbirolli and the Hallé Orchestra, and also gave the first performance of Alan Rawsthorne's Cello Concerto in London.
As a cerebral performer and teacher, he believed that composers and performers should work together from the very early stages of a composition (as he himself did with the Finzi concerto), and that a performer's technique should be kept simple for improved expression.
He died in London on 28 July 2005, aged 80.