Michael Schulte has been described as ”This elegantly accomplished violinist [with] smooth virtuosity,” by Hamilton music critic Hugh Fraser. Pursuing an early interest in orchestral music, he was concertmaster for university orchestras and occasionally with professional ones. Michael has played as soloist with orchestras including the Winnipeg Symphony and the Toronto Philharmonia. Also a violist, conductor and music arranger, Michael’s musical focus is chamber music performance, presentation, curation and education. Michael has performed and recorded the quintet repertoire with groups like the Fine Arts Quartet, the American String Quartet, the Miro Quartet, the Lafayette Quartet, the New Orford Quartet, the Parker Quartet, etc. Michael taught at the Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute for eight years and directed his own string quartet Camp. He teaches for McMaster University and directs the Schulte Chamber Players – numerously awarded Ontario’s best by the OMFA. He directs an ad hoc touring ensemble for Chamber Music Hamilton called Incite. Michael commissioned the construction of two ancient string instruments and does concerts and tours with his rare violoncello piccolo da spalla. Michael has played and conducted much of his wife Abigail Richardson-Schulte’s music for CBC broadcast and has performed her violin concerto with five Canadian orchestras. He likes to perform with the Turini, Schulte, Domb trio and other groups on an occasional basis. Michael has crossed the ten year mark as director of Chamber Music Hamilton.
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, for whom she likes to write and who has played and conducted much of her work for national broadcast. 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.