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About

A long-admired figure on the New York scene, cellist Michael Nicolas enjoys a diverse career as soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and improvisor. His eclectic tastes and willingness to try just about anything have led him to forge a musical path of uncommon breadth, from performing masterpieces of the past in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, to free-form improvisation in a downtown New York experimental venue with giants of the genre, to working with contemporary composers of all styles, pushing the boundaries of musical expression and meaning.

The ensembles Michael plays in illustrate his commitment to diversity. He is the cellist of the intrepid and genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider, which has drawn praise from classical, world music, and rock critics alike. He is also a member of Ensemble Ditto, a chamber group based in South Korea that has garnered extraordinary success in reaching young and new classical music audiences, selling out concert halls all over Korea, Japan, and China. As a member of the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), he has worked with countless composers from around the world, premiering and recording dozens of new works. Another group, Third Sound, which Michael helped found, made its debut with an historic residency at the 2015 Havana Contemporary Music Festival, in Cuba.

Highlights of the upcoming season include the release of Michael’s debut solo album Transitions on the Sono Luminus label, performances across South Korea with Ensemble Ditto and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, U.S. and European tours with Brooklyn Rider, and a 6-night residency at New York’s experimental music venue The Stone in December 2016.

Of mixed French-Canadian and Taiwanese heritage, Michael was born in Canada, and currently resides in New York City. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School.