Biography: Violist Michael Isaac Strauss leads an active schedule as a performing and teaching artist. His love for the intimate concert setting has led to performances on concert series, live radio broadcasts, and festival appearances across Europe, North America, and Asia. He was principal violist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for 20 years. A former member of the distinguished Fine Arts Quartet, Strauss made several European and domestic tours with them, as well as a critically acclaimed recording of Mozart’s complete viola quintets (Lyrinx). His solo work is featured on several other CDs—the premiere recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Sonata, David Finko’s Viola Concerto, Stamitz’s works for solo viola with orchestra (Centaur), and the Suzuki Viola School CDs, Volumes 8 and 9. Additional chamber music recordings with the Philadelphia-based Orchestra 2001 include pieces by living composers. His most recent recording, Wordless Verses, features works inspired by poetry for oboe, viola, and piano (distributed by Naxos). Strauss is a founding member of The Indianapolis Quartet, in residence at the University of Indianapolis, and teaches at Youngstown State University. He has served on the faculty of several prominent schools including Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and Swarthmore College. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.
Teaching Philosophy: I believe that music—as the universal language—can enrich all lives and open pathways that are intentional, and also unexpected. The enduring pursuit of musical expression is the perfect blend of mental, physical, and aesthetical joy. I have spent more than thirty years applying myself to the art and craft of teaching viola in all its forms and functions, and I’m excited to offer my experience and love for the medium to students of all ages in Carmel and the surrounding area.