Music critic Hugh Fraser of The Hamilton Spectator referred to Michael as “The most elegant violinist around.” Michael began serious violin studies in Lübeck, Germany. He had early opportunity to play with a variety of Canada’s top classical musicians as a member of Marta Hidy and Friends and now performs freelance on violin, viola and violoncello piccolo da spalla. He is the only Canadian musician to do so professionally. Michael has performed and recorded the quintet repertoire with many famous groups such as the Fine Arts Quartet, the American String Quartet, the Miro Quartet, the Lafayette Quartet, the New Orford Quartet, and the Parker Quartet. Michael played trio concerts for five years with great players Ronald Turini and Daniel Domb, and before that with Alexander Tselyakov and Gisela Depkat. Michael taught for eight years at the Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute and directed his own string quartet camp near Parry Sound. He has taught violin, viola and chamber music for McMaster University and York University, and directs the Schulte Chamber Players – numerously awarded Ontario’s best by the OMFA. Michael commissioned the construction of two ancient string instruments and does concerts and tours with his rare violoncello piccolo da spalla. Michael played and conducted much of wife Abigail Richardson-Schulte’s music for CBC broadcast and performed her violin concerto with five of Canada’s pro orchestras. Michael has directed Chamber Music Hamilton for a dozen years.
Chamber Music Hamilton Associate: Abigail Richardson-Schulte
Abigail Richardson-Schulte was born in Oxford, England and moved to Canada as a child. Ironically, she was diagnosed completely and incurably deaf at the age of five. Upon moving to Canada, her hearing was fully intact within months. After growing up in Calgary and studying composition there, she received a Doctorate degree from U. of T. Her music has been commissioned and performed by major orchestras, presenters and music festivals, including a Radio France string quartet commission. Abigail won the first Karen Kieser Prize for Canadian music and the CMC Prairie Region award. Most significantly, she won a first at the prestigious UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers, after which her music was broadcast in 35 countries. Abigail’s opera Sanctuary Song won the “Best New Opera” Dora in 2009. She frequently collaborates with her husband, violinist Michael Schulte. Abigail was Affiliate Composer of TSO from 2006-2009 and continued to coordinate their New Creations Festival. She is presently Composer in Residence with the HPO. Her very popular “Hockey Sweater”, with text and narration by Roch Carrier, was the country’s first triple co-commission (Toronto Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic), and is regularly performed by orchestras across Canada and increasingly in France. This piece has been experienced by more than a hundred thousand audience members since it’s premiere in 2012.