Independent - California - United States
Praised by The New York Times for the “brilliant clarity” of his performance of the featured cimbalom part for John 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.
While in Cleveland, Chester served as Principal Percussionist of the Youngstown, Mansfield and Wheeling, WV Symphonies. As an extra percussionist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Chester performed with many significant conductors including Pierre Boulez, Leonard Slatkin and Franz Welser-Möst. As an extra percussionist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Chester performed on numerous national and international radio broadcasts. He also appeared on several recordings including a CD of works by Aaron Copland that was featured on NPR’s “Performance Today”.
Chester began performing as an extra percussionist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2005. Since then Chester has played under many esteemed conductors including Christoph Von Dohnányi, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Esa-Pekka Salonen. 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 part for The Gospel According to the Other Mary.
Chester has 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 has also performed on several recordings with the L.A. Philharmonic, including on CD and iTunes for Deutsche Grammophon and on the DVD recording of the 2009 World Premiere of City Noir by John Adams. Chester has also performed with many of the prominent orchestras of Southern California, including the Pacific, Pasadena, San Diego and Santa Barbara Symphonies, and the L.A. Chamber Orchestra. He can 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 will.i.am that was broadcast on Mars from the NASA Curiosity Rover.
Chester Englander is a Pearl Drums/Adams Percussion Artist. He and his lovely wife, violinist Rachel Englander, are proud parents to their adorable daughters Charlotte and Alice.