Hailed by critics from the New York Times and the Washington Post, “brilliantly assured” cellist Michael Nicolas is one of the rising stars of his generation and a dynamic performer on the classical and contemporary music scene, in demand as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, teacher, and music writer. He captivates audiences across North America, Europe, and Asia with his ravishing tone, refined musicality, and probing interpretations of a wide variety of repertoire.
After graduating from the Juilliard School, Michael was appointed Associate Principal Cellist of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, with which he played over the course of four seasons, but made the uncommon decision to trade a stable, tenured job for a more flexible and multifaceted career path, and also to dedicate more time and energy to a particular passion of his: the music of the present. Michael is currently a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and has worked with many distinguished composers – Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, Mario Davidovsky, Steve Reich, Kaija Saariaho, Charles Wuorinen, John Zorn – as well as countless others of his own generation. His many festival appearances around the world include the Bridgehampton, Chamber Music Northwest, Huddersfield Contemporary Music, Iceland Airwaves, Lincoln Center White Light, Marlboro Music, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, and Wien Modern festivals.
Michael is also a member of Ensemble Ditto, a chamber music group based in South Korea that has garnered extraordinary success in reaching new and more diverse classical music audiences. They have achieved a massive fan following, selling out concert halls all over Korea and Japan, and have released albums through the Universal Korea label.
Of mixed French-Canadian and Taiwanese heritage, Michael was born in Winnipeg, Canada, and currently resides in New York City.