InstantEncore
Biography

Praised by the New York Times for his beautifully shaped and carefully nuanced singing, tenor Derek Chester is steadily making a name for himself in the world of classical singing.  In Germany he was a member of the Gächinger Kantorei and was heard as soloist in Bach Cantata’s 22 and 23 with the Bach Collegium Stuttgart. He has also appeared as soloist at the 2006 and 2008 Oregon Bach Festivals under Helmuth Rilling, as Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion during Bach Woche 2007 in Stuttgart and also at the 2007 Toronto Bach Festival under Helmuth Rilling, and in Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with Martin Pearlman and Boston Baroque.  He is a featured soloist with the American Bach Soloists under Jeffrey Thomas and is on the roster of Miami's professional chamber choir Seraphic Fire under Patrick Quigley.  Chester’s 2006 recording of Bach’s St. John Passion (1725 version, ReZound) under the baton of Simon Carrington (Yale Schola Cantorum) has received many accolades, including rave reviews from Early Music and Choir and Organ Magazine. Recent concert credits include Britten’s War Requiem with the Korean Broadcasting System Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn's 2nd Symphony (Lobgesang) with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus,  Handel’s St. John Passion, Monteverdi Book Seven Madrigals, and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the Dallas Bach Society, Handel's Messiah at St. Thomas Fifth Avenue, NY, the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, and the South Dakota Chorale, Handel's Theodora with the Bach Collegium San Diego, the evangelist in Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the Voices of Ascension and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Mass in B minor and Weihnachts Oratorium with American Bach Soloists. He was the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Adam's Fellowship at the Carmel Bach Festival, and has been a featured tenor soloist at the Staunton Music Festival.  

Acclaimed as a versatile tenor, Chester has also excelled in the performance of opera and musical theatre spanning nearly six centuries in his repertoire. Theater and opera credits include Oronte in Alcina, Nemorino in L'Elisir d'amore, Peter Quint in Turn of the Screw, Simon Stimson in Our Town, Acis and Damon in Acis and Galatea, Abel/Japheth in Children of Eden, and Dons Basilio and Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro.

Derek Chester received his Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Georgia and his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance of Oratorio, Early Music, Song, and Chamber Music in 2006 with a full scholarship from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music.  As a Fulbright Scholar, he spent a year in Germany working as a freelance musician and furthering his training as a student of acclaimed German tenor, Christoph Prégardien.  He recently completed his doctoral studies as a teaching fellow at the University of North Texas in Opera Studies with a dissertation on the early songs of Samuel Barber.  Dr. Chester will join the faculty at the University of Northern Colorado this fall as a tenured track professor of voice and music.   He continues his work as a freelance singer across North America and Europe.

InstantEncore