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Viola, organ masterclasses on tap for March

Loyola press release - March 7, 2014

Internationally performing violist Michael Strauss and Grammy award-winning organist Paul Jacobs will present free masterclasses in March at Loyola University New Orleans. These classes afford Loyola students the opportunity to perform and receive professional feedback in preparation for music careers. The masterclass events are free and open to the public.

Strauss will host two masterclasses this month set for Monday, March 10 at 5 p.m. and Tuesday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. in room 240 of the Communications/Music Complex on Loyola’s main campus. The masterclass with Jacobs is set for Friday, March 14 at 2 p.m. at Rayne Memorial Methodist Church located at 3900 St. Charles Ave. in New Orleans.

Known for his “rich tone and lyrical acumen,” according to the Chicago Tribune, Michael Strauss has performed around the world as a soloist, in chamber and symphonic settings. He made his solo debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1990 and has since appeared as featured artist in concert series, international festivals and with orchestras including the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Orchestra 2001, Charleston Symphony and Camerata Chicago. During his 18-year tenure as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Principal Violist, Strauss was also featured as soloist or collaborator in duo roles nearly every season.

Described by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the most supremely gifted organists of his generation,” Jacobs’ performances of new works and core recital and symphonic repertoire have transfixed audiences, colleagues and critics alike. Jacobs’ recording of Messiaen’s Livre du Saint Sacrement, released by Naxos in September 2010, was awarded the Best Solo Instrumental Grammy of the Year—the first time a disc of solo organ music has ever received this honor. Jacobs also made musical history at age 23 when he played J.S. Bach’s complete organ works in an 18-hour marathon performance on the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death.

The Jacobs masterclass is part of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Masterclass Series at Loyola, which previously featured a wide range of world-renowned musicians, including violinist Karen Gomyo, Italian pianist Benedetto Lupo and LPO Principal Conductor and Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto. Violinist Philippe Quint will present a masterclass later this semester. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Masterclass Series at Loyola is made possible by generous support from Drs. Dennis and Lynne Gleiber.