Stephen Lester has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1978. Born in Chicago, he began his professional career with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra while still a student at Northwestern University. Before joining the CSO, he played for two seasons with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony orchestras, respectively.
Lester enjoys an active schedule of chamber music and solo performances, as well as teaching. He also serves as chairman of the CSO’s Orchestra Members Committee. In addition to traveling on his own and with the Orchestra, his hobbies include studying history, trying to find time to exercise, and traveling with his wife Rachel, a violinist in the Orchestra.