Acclaimed for his “unnerving dexterity” (San Francisco Chronicle), his “boldly played” (Los Angeles Times), “vivid” (The New York Times), and “expert” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) performances as the solo cimbalom of John Adams’ Scheherazade.2, and praised by the NYT 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 cimbalom artist with orchestras throughout the country.
Chester has performed with a considerable list of major orchestras, including those of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Louisville, Minnesota, Nashville, the National, Oregon, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle, as well as the Philharmonics of Buffalo, Los Angeles and New York. The list of international orchestras includes the Iceland Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic, and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in Mexico City. He has taken part in multiple world and U.S. premiere performances of orchestral and chamber works by several composers including John Adams, Thomas Adés, Louis Andriessen, Unsuk Chin, Peter Eötvös, György Kurtág, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Additionally, he directly collaborated with composer John Adams on the development of the featured cimbalom parts for The Gospel According to the Other Mary, Scheherazade.2, and the opera Antony and Cleopatra.
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 seen performing on the DVD recording of the 2009 World Premiere of City Noir by John Adams with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and can be heard on CD recordings with the Buffalo Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony, and the St. Louis Symphony. Having been active as studio musician in both Los Angeles and Nashville, he can also be heard playing percussion on the scores of the video game Resident Evil, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and the Disney movie Earth, among many other titles. Chester also played percussion on the studio recording of Reach for the Stars by will.i.am that was broadcast on Mars from the NASA Curiosity Rover.
Chester is a proud Artist Endorser of Pearl Drums/Adams Percussion, Freer Percussion Products, and Zildjian Cymbals.