My Kingdom for a Cimbalom
Like many before him, Chester Englander was an accomplished classical musician barely making rent. Trained as a percussionist at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he cobbled together a livelihood the way many fine musicians do — giving lessons, doing random commercial work, playing occasional soundtrack sessions, subbing often for symphony players who went on vacation or had a baby or got the flu. He moved where the work was, living in upstate New York, Los Angeles, then back to Cleveland, spending long days and nights also performing for smaller symphonies out in Youngstown, Mansfield, Fort Wayne, Erie, and Wheeling.
All the while, he was flying around the nation at his own expense, auditioning for scant vacancies at major philharmonics t