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Chester Englander
Independent - Cleveland, OH - United States


Called a “vivid performer” by The New York Times for his performance as the solo cimbalom of John Adams’ Scheherazade.2, and praised for the “brilliant clarity” of his performance of the featured cimbalom part within Mr. Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, Chester Englander has a thriving career as a percussionist and concert cimbalom player with orchestras throughout the country.

Originally from Santa Monica, CA, Chester graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in 1994, earning an award for Superior Performance in Percussion.  Chester went on to earn a Bachelor of Music (1999) and Master of Music (2001) at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Richard Weiner and Paul Yancich, Principal Percussionist and Principal Timpanist of the Cleveland Orchestra, respectively.  Chester received the Bruce D. Collie award from CIM for Excellence in Percussion in 1998.  He earned the Charles Owen Memorial Scholarship to attend the Aspen Music Festival in 1996, and attended the Music Academy of the West in 1995 and 1998.

Chester has performed on percussion and/or cimbalom with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic, and the New World Symphony.

Chester has played under a long list of esteemed conductors, including Stephane Deneve, Christoph Von Dohnányi, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Alan Gilbert, Vladimir Jurowski, Fabio Luisi, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Franz Welser-Möst among many others.  He has taken part in multiple world premiere performances of orchestral and chamber works by several contemporary composers including John Adams, Thomas Adés, Unsuk Chin and Esa-Pekka Salonen.  Additionally, he directly collaborated with John Adams on the composition of the featured cimbalom parts for The Gospel According to the Other Mary and Scheherazade.2.

Chester performed as a soloist with the L.A. Philharmonic New Music Group on two occasions, in 2008 as Glockenspiel soloist on Des Canyons aux Etoiles by Olivier Messiaen with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting, and in 2010 as Percussion soloist on Pierced by David Lang with Jeffrey Milarsky conducting.  He also performed as Solo Cimbalom for the U.S. Premiere of da capo by Peter Eötvös with the composer conducting the New World Symphony in April 2015. Chester can be heard on the Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, Interscope, and Cantaloupe Labels, as well as the DVD recording of the 2009 World Premiere of City Noir by John Adams. He can also be heard playing percussion on the scores of the video game Resident Evil 5 by Capcom and the movie Earth by DisneyNature.  Chester also performed on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien with the band Vampire Weekend in 2009.  He also played percussion on the recording of Reach For the Stars by that was broadcast on Mars from the NASA Curiosity Rover.

Chester Englander is an Artist for Pearl Drums/Adams Percussion and Freer Percussion Products.  He and his lovely wife, violinist Rachel Englander, are proud parents to their adorable daughters Charlotte and Alice.