'Meet the Artist' event, concert joint ventures of ISO, DPU, city

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, DePauw University and the City of Greencastle will jointly host an informal and interactive "Meet the Artist" program featuring ISO Concertmaster Zach De Pue and principal violist Michael Isaac Strauss on Tuesday, May 3, beginning at 6 p.m. at DPU.

The Indianapolis Symphony will also present a free concert featuring the artists as soloists at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 12 at the Green Center for the Performing Arts on the DePauw campus.

The two events will kick off a multi-year education and community outreach partnership between the ISO, the university and the city as a result of Greencastle being designated a Stellar Community by the State of Indiana. The collaboration will evolve to include more free concerts and master classes, the potential formation of a youth orchestra and other educational programs.

Set for the Great Hall at the Green Center for the Performing Arts, the May 3 "Meet the Artist" will feature De Pue and Strauss exploring two classical masterpieces -- Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" and Mozart's "Sinfonia concertante for Violin and Viola" -- that they will perform in the May 12 concert.

The artists also will perform selected passages from those pieces and will answer questions from the audience. The event is free and open to the public.

The concert will open with De Pue and Strauss as soloists in the Mozart Sinfonia concertante that spotlights the musical voices of the violin and viola.

Following intermission, De Pue and the Indianapolis Symphony will perform Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," considered to be one of the greatest works and the composer's best known. Each of the four movements' distinctive themes musically represents the sounds of a particular season (birds in spring or a warm crackling fire in winter). It has remained a popular staple in the concerto repertoire since its creation in 1723. The concert in DePauw's Kresge Auditorium is free and open to the public.

De Pue was appointed concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and began his tenure in September 2007. Previously, he was a violinist in The Philadelphia Orchestra. Since 1985, he and his three violin-playing brothers have performed together as The De Pue Brothers, and he is a founding member of the chamber group Time for Three, which currently serves as the ISO's ensemble-in-residence.

A native of Bowling Green, Ohio, De Pue graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2002. An avid chamber musician, he has performed across the United States and in Israel.

Strauss has served as principal viola of the Indianapolis Symphony since 1994 and has appeared on numerous occasions as a soloist, including his acclaimed performances of Harold in Italy in 1999 with Raymond Leppard conducting. Prior to his Indianapolis arrival, he was principal violist for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the Philly Pops, as well as co-principal of the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra.

In addition to his symphonic work, Strauss performs regularly as a soloist and as a chamber musician in other cities and annually appears on chamber music series throughout the U.S. He has received numerous honors both here and in other parts of America for his artistry, served on numerous university and college faculties as a teacher and is an adviser to the American Viola Society. Strauss also is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.

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