Abigail Richardson


Composer Abigail Richardson-Schulte was born in Oxford, England, and moved to Canada as a child. Ironically, she was diagnosed incurably deaf at 5. Upon moving to Calgary, however, her hearing was fully intact within months. Her music has been commissioned and performed by major orchestras, presenters, music festivals, and broadcasters, including the Festival Présences of Paris.

Abigail won first at the prestigious UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers and had broadcasts in 35 countries. She won the Karen Kieser Prize (CBC) and the Dora Mavor Moore Award for “Best New Opera.” Abigail has been Affiliate Composer with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and now programs performances for their New Creations Festival. She wrote the wildly successful music for the classic Canadian story The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier. It was the country’s first triple co-commission, by the TSO, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Within three seasons her piece has been performed by nearly every professional orchestra across the country, and has been experienced by more than sixty thousand audience members, often with Abigail hosting from the stage.

She recently finished a WWI memorial piece, Song of the Poets, with choir and orchestra for NACO’s UK tour. The work was co-commissioned by NACO, The World Remembers, CPO, and TBSO with many partner performances in Canada and Europe. Current projects include a complete family concert commissioned by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra based around Dennis Lee’s Alligator Pie.

Abigail is currently Composer in Residence with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, serves as Artistic Director of the HPO’s What Next Festival, hosts community events, and teaches composition for U of T.

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