Ed Cervenka studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and graduated in 1998 having gained the GRNCM and PPRNCM with Distinction. He is Principal Percussionist with Northern Sinfonia, and also freelances as a Percussionist and Timpanist with orchestras all over the UK including BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Chamber Orchestra and Manchester Camerata, and has worked with many of the world's leading conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev, Gustavo Dudamel, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, Charles Mackerras and Mark Elder.
Ed has also become established as the leading cimbalom player of his generation. He has performed the cimbalom part in Kodaly's Hary Janos Suite on some 30 occasions including with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, London, with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, with the Halle Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, and with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the 2011 BBC Proms. He has also worked as a cimbalom player with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and RTE Symphony Orchestra. Recordings include Dutilleux's Mystere de L'Instant with the BBC Philharmonic, and Stravinsky's Ragtime with the European Solosists Ensemble and Ashkenazy. He has also recorded a number of TV and Film soundtracks including the ITV drama series Far from the Madding Crowd, the second series of the BBC comedy The League of Gentlemen and the films Dogma with the LPO and Simon Magus. He recorded the solo cimbalom part for the 2nd and 3rd Lord of the Rings films, and most recently played solo cimbalom and hammered dulcimer on the first Hobbit Film, both also with the LPO.