Called a “vivid performer” by The New York Times for his performance as Solo Cimbalom for John Adams’ Scheherazade.2 and praised by the NYT for the “brilliant clarity” of his performance of the featured cimbalom part for 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.
A native of Santa Monica, CA, Chester learned the basics of playing percussion in the local public school music programs. After graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy, he went on to earn Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Richard Weiner and Paul Yancich.
Chester has performed on percussion or cimbalom with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and Atlanta Symphony, in addition to several others. He participated in multiple world and U.S. premieres of compositions by Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Adams, Thomas Adés, Unsuk Chin, and several others. Chester performed as soloist with the L.A. Phil on two occasions: as glockenspiel soloist for Des Canyons aux Etoiles by Olivier Messiaen, and as percussion soloist on Pierced by David Lang. Additionally, Chester performed as cimbalom soloist for the U.S. Premiere of da capo for cimbalom and ensemble by Peter Eötvös with the New World Symphony.
Chester has joined the L.A. Phil and The Cleveland Orchestra on multiple U.S. and European tours, and he can be heard on 16 recordings with the L.A. Phil and Buffalo Philharmonic on CD, DVD and iTunes for the Deutsche Grammophon, Cantaloupe, and Naxos labels, including the DVD commemorating the inaugural concert for Gustavo Dudamel as Music Director. He can be heard playing percussion on the scores for Resident Evil V, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and the motion picture Earth by DisneyNature. Chester also played percussion and timpani on the song Reach For the Stars by will.i.am for Interscope Records, which was broadcast on Mars from the Mars Curiosity Rover. Chester is an Artist for Pearl Drums/Adams Percussion and Freer Percussion Products.