Dean David H. Stull of the Oberlin (Ohio) Conservatory of Music announced Wednesday the appointment of Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra principal violist Michael Strauss as Associate Professor of Viola and Chamber Music. The ISO has granted Strauss a one year leave of absence starting this September. Newly appointed associate ISO principal violist Mike Chen will act as principal during Strauss's year at Oberlin.
From the press release: Known for his "rich tone and lyrical acumen" (Chicago Tribune), Strauss has performed around the world in chamber music and symphonic settings. Since his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1990, he has appeared as soloist with orchestras across the United States. Since 1994, he has served as the ISO's principal violist where he has often been featured as a soloist.
"We are very pleased to bring Michael Strauss to the Conservatory of Music. Michael is an exceptionally gifted musician with a tremendous background," Dean Stull remarks. A former member of the Fine Arts Quartet, Strauss appeared at festivals and in live broadcasts and venues across Europe and the United States. Other chamber music collaborations, with artists such as Ida Kavafian, Jaime Laredo, Joseph Silverstein, Alexander Kerr, Shlomo Mintz, Andre Previn and Yefim Bronfman, include performances at LaJolla, Caramoor, Banff, Sewanee, and Eastern Music Festival, as well as on chamber music series throughout the country.
Strauss's recording work includes the debut of Jennifer Higdon's Viola Sonata (I Virtuosi), Mozart's complete viola quintets with the Fine Arts Quartet (Lyrinx), and Stamitz's works for solo viola with orchestra (Centaur). He is also the featured recording artist on the official CD for the Suzuki Association of the Americas Viola School, Volume 8, and will record Volume 9 in 2013.