Percussionist Robert Schulz has become a familiar face to Boston audiences, known for his multi-faceted performances with many of the area’s premier ensembles. The Boston Globe has referenced his virtuoso work as “subtle, with cat-like alertness”, his musicianship as “dazzling” and his performance as “spellbinding”. Highly sought after by instrumentalists, composers and conductors alike for his collaborative skills, his percussive expertise extends through the traditional symphonic repertory, contemporary solo and chamber ensemble works to jazz, improvisational forms and world music.
He is principal percussionist for the Auros Group for New Music, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Musica Viva, Fromm Players at Harvard, Music at Eden ‘s Edge and Mistral (of the Andover Chamber Music Series). He freelances with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, and Pro Arte orchestras and has collaborated with the Boston Chamber Music Society, Collage New Music, Dinosaur Annex and Firebird Ensemble on several occasions. Additionally, he has been a featured soloist and ensemble member with the Bank of America Celebrity Series on several occasions. In 2004-05 he was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Small Ensemble Performance for his work on Yehudi Wyner’s The Mirror and gave the Boston premier of Tan Dun’s Water Concerto with BMOP. This past season he toured nationally with pipa virtuoso Wu Man, performing a new work by Chen Yi written expressly for them, culminating in performance at Carnagie Hall, NY.
Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., Mr. Schulz’ first teachers were John Rowland and Lynn Harbold of the Buffalo Philharmonic and later Jan Williams at SUNY Buffalo, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree (1989). After moving to Boston in 1990 for study at the New England Conservatory, he completed a Masters in Jazz Studies with Fred Buda (1992) and was offered successive fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Center while pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Solo Percussion with Frank Epstein of the Boston Symphony (1994). A gifted teacher and mentor to many, current affiliations include Brandeis, Harvard and Tufts Universities. His work at these institutions includes private lessons, ensemble coaching and conducting, musician contracting, and compositional seminars.