German-born Rolf Schulte, whom The New Yorker has called “one of the most distinguished violinists of our day,” started playing the violin at age five under his father’s tutelage. He later studied with Kurt Schäffer at the Robert Schumann Institute in Düsseldorf, attended Yehudi Menuhin’s summer course in Gstaad, Switzerland, and studied with Franco Gulli at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena before moving to the United States to study with Ivan Galamian at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. At age 16, he made his orchestral debut with the Philharmonia Hungarica in Cologne, playing Mendelssohn’s Concerto. Under the auspices of Young Concert Artists he gave his New York debut at Town Hall to great acclaim.
He has since performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Frankfurt Museums Orchester, Stuttgart Staatsorchester, Bamberg Symphony, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice in Venice (in Stravinsky’s Concerto under Robert Craft), RTE Irish National Symphony in Dublin, and the Radio Orchestras of Berlin (RSO), Cologne (WDR), and Stuttgart (SDR) under conductors Christoph von Dohnányi, György Lehel, Tamas Vásary, Max Rudolf, Dennis R. Davies, Daniel Nazareth, Alexander Lazarov, Guido Ajmone-Marsan and many others. In 1990 he performed Roger Sessions’ Violin Concerto with the Radio Orchestra of the USSR in Moscow under the direction of Lukas Foss and presented American music in recital.
After many years of collaborating with the leading composers of his time, such as Elliott Carter (whose Fantasy he premiered at Harvard), György Kurtág (whose Kafka-Fragments he gave the American première of at Tanglewood), Milton Babbitt (whose The Joy of More Sextets and Little Goes a Long Way he premiered at the Library of Congress and Harvard), Donald Martino (whose Violin Concerto and Romanza he premiered), Mario Davidovsky (whose Synchronisms No.9 he premiered at MIT), Aaron Copland and John Cage, Rolf Schulte happily now returns to the repertoire of his early adulthood, applying the lessons learned from intensive work with living composers, to the music of Schumann, Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, Brahms, Bartók, Janácek, Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, Webern, Schönberg, Berg, etc.
Mr. Schulte has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the 1990 Kuhmo Music Festival in Finland. His numerous recital performances include the cycle of ten Beethoven sonatas at Harvard, Dartmouth, and Middlebury Colleges, and the complete violin works of Igor Stravinsky at the 92nd St. Y and Berliner Festwochen, among other places. From 1999-2001 Rolf Schulte held a residency at Harvard University during which he presented new works by Carter, Donald Martino and Milton Babbitt.
Mr. Schulte performs on a 1780 violin made by Lorenzo Storioni, Cremona.
James Winn, piano and composition professor at the University of Nevada, Reno since 1997, made his professional debut with the Denver Symphony at the age of thirteen, and has been performing widely in North America, Europe, and Asia ever since.
Dr. Winn has been a solo pianist with the New York City Ballet, a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, of Hexagon (woodwind quintet plus piano), and the pianist and resident composer of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, as well as a frequent guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum, the Group for Contemporary Music, Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival, La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, and Bargemusic. Well-known as a specialist in new music, he has been involved in numerous world premieres and premiere recordings by many renowned composers, among them 13 Pulitzer Prize winners.
Winn is currently a member of Argenta, UNR’s resident piano trio, a founding member and regular participant in the Nevada Chamber Music Festival, and performs regularly in recital with internationally acclaimed New York based violinist Rolf Schulte. An active recording artist, Winn is featured in more than four dozen CDs as soloist, chamber musician, and composer. He has received numerous career recognitions including an Artist Fellowship from the Nevada State Council of the Arts and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.