photo: Ceylon Mitchell, M3 Mitchell Media & Marketing

Countertenor Michael Walker II (he/him/his) is celebrated as a brilliant soloist and versatile chamber musician, praised for his “luminous tone, weighted with pathos.” With a passion for celebrating diversity, equity, inclusion, and access within the classical arts, Walker has distinguished himself as a leading advocate and performer in the field.

A dynamic recitalist and soloist, Walker captivates audiences nationwide with his transcendent performances. His repertoire spans a wide range of styles and eras, from the medieval, renaissance, and baroque periods to contemporary works. As an early music specialist, he has been featured as a soloist with esteemed ensembles including the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Folger Consort, Kokomo Symphony Orchestra, Marquette Choral Society, Incantare, and AIM (UK). In collaboration with the historical instrumental ensemble, Alchymy Viols, Walker has conceived a program of Negro Spirituals arranged for voice and viols da gambas. This innovative project, titled DEEP RIVER: AMERICAN SPIRITUALS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME, aims to expand the boundaries of the western musical canon and highlight the works of Black Composers and traditionally marginalized communities using historical performances practices.

Walker is a proud member of the Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble, a group dedicated to championing racial, ethnic, and gender diversity while presenting vocal music with artistic excellence and integrity. Recent highlights include headliner performances at Podium: Choral Canada’s National Choral Conference, and the American Choral Director Association: Southern and Midwestern Regional Conferences.

In addition to his classical repertoire, Walker is an avid enthusiast of new works and contemporary music. He was the featured soloist in the U.S. premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s Triptych for wind band and the countertenor soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Indiana University Summer Philharmonic Orchestra. This spring, Walker looks forward to performing Suzanne Farrin’s opera Dolce la morte, based on the love poetry of Michelangelo with Ensemble Dal Niente.

In addition to his musical pursuits, Walker is deeply engaged in social justice and civil rights advocacy. He was a Sphinx LEADer Fellow with the Sphinx Organization, a social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Walker’s commitment to social justice and advocacy is further exemplified by his collaboration with the ACLU of DC, where he lends his voice and support to advance civil liberties and civil rights for all. Walker holds a Master of Music in Early Music Performance Practices from the Historical Performance Institute at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and other advanced degrees and certificates in business and non-profit fundraising.