Derek Chester has quickly established himself as a preeminent interpreter of oratorio repertoire and a teacher of the vocal arts. 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 on 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. While maintaining an active performing career, Chester received his DMA in Voice Performance and Opera Studies from the University of North Texas, with a dissertation on the juvenile song compositions of Samuel Barber.
Recent concert appearances include Bach’s St. John Passion at Chicago’s Beethoven Festival; a reconstruction of Bach’s St. Markus Passion with Barokksolistene of Norway; Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with Boston Baroque; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at the Berkshire Choral Festival; Britten’s War Requiem with the Korean Broadcasting System Symphony Orchestra; Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 the “Lobgesang” with the Buffalo Philharmonic; and all of the major works of Bach with American Bach Soloists. Though his career is concentrated primarily in concert work, Chester is also passionate about opera and opera history, with theater credits including Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore, Peter Quint in Turn of the Screw, Oronte in Alcina, and Acis in Acis and Galatea.
Dr. Chester currently serves as Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Northern Colorado and is also on the faculty of the Lutheran Summer Music Festival and is a featured soloist at the Staunton Music Festival and the Colorado Bach Festival. He continues his worldwide career as a sought after interpreter of concert and recital repertoire.