Praised by the New York Times for his "beautifully shaped and carefully nuanced singing," Derek Chester has quickly established himself as a preeminent interpreter of early music, oratorio repertoire and a teacher of the vocal arts.
Recent concert appearances include Handel’s Jephtha with Ars Lyrica Houston, Handel’s Messiah and Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the Colorado Symphony, Dvorak's Stabat Mater with the Handel Society of Dartmouth, Haydn’s Creation with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and a reconstruction of Bach's St. Markus Passion with Barokksolistene of Norway.
Though his career is concentrated primarily in concert work, Chester is also passionate about opera and opera history, with theater credits including Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore, Peter Quint in Turn of the Screw, Oronte in Alcina, and Acis in Acis and Galatea.
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 from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music. After spending a year in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, he received his DMA in Voice Performance and Opera Studies at the University of North Texas, with a dissertation on the juvenile song compositions of Samuel Barber. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Northern Colorado.