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January 10, 2013

Trio from Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to perform at ISU today

TERRE HAUTE — A trio of talented musicians from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will perform as part of the Indiana State University Visiting Artist Concert Series at 7:30 p.m. today in the Recital Hall of the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts, at Seventh and Chestnut streets.

The performance will feature Benjamin Britten’s “Lachrymae: Reflections on a Song of Dowland” and “Phantasy Quartet,” Loeffler’s “Deux Rhapsodies for Oboe, Viola and Piano” and Holbrooke’s “Nocturne Fairyland.”

Performers include Davis Brooks, professor of violin at Butler University and interim concertmaster with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Michael Isaac Strauss, principal violinist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Kent Cook, associate professor of piano at Illinois Wesleyan University; Roger Roe, assistant principal oboist for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Kurt Fowler, professor of music at ISU.

Brooks comes from a diverse musical background as soloist, pedagogue, orchestral musician, studio musician, concertmaster on Broadway, conductor and chamber musician. His teaching experience has included faculty appointments at Baylor University, Wayne State University, the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and Bucknell University.

Brooks is interim concertmaster of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He also was a member of the Mostly Mozart Orchestra at Lincoln Center for 10 years, and the New York Chamber Symphony. Brooks has been concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of New England, the Harrisburg Symphony and the Waco Symphony.

Strauss has performed around the world as a soloist, in chamber music and symphonic settings. He made his solo debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1990 and has since appeared as soloist with orchestras across the United States. During his 18-year tenure as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra principal violist, Strauss has performed as soloist or collaborator in duo roles nearly every season.

A sought-out teacher, Strauss joined the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory of Music and also teaches at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Strauss teaches privately, presents master classes and coaches advanced students and professionals in orchestral audition preparation. He previously held faculty positions at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Swarthmore College, DePauw University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Butler University and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Cook keeps an active schedule as soloist and chamber musician, having performed in many venues throughout the United States and abroad. Regionally, he has appeared in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. While in Europe, he has performed in Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany and Italy.

A Texas native, he began to play the piano at age 6. He attended Baylor University to pursue dentistry, but soon abandoned that goal to begin serious study of the piano. After finishing a piano performance degree with honors under the guidance of Roger Keyes, he continued his studies at Indiana University receiving both a master’s and doctoral degrees in piano performance. Before joining the piano faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1999, Cook served on music faculties at DePauw University, the Indiana University Piano Academy and the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

Roe assumed his duties as English horn/assistant principal oboe of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1995. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Southern Methodist University and Arts Magnet High School in Dallas. Before coming to Indianapolis, he held oboe and English horn positions with the orchestras of Honolulu and Charleston, S.C.

Before joining the IU faculty, Roe served on the faculty of DePauw University for six years. In addition to solo appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra on oboe, oboe d’amore, and English horn, Roe serves as narrator and creative consultant for children’s programs. He is an active chamber musician and recitalist and is a past winner of the Fort Worth Young Artist Competition and of a Downbeat Magazine Award as Outstanding Young Classical Instrumentalist.

Fowler has performed throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestra l musician. He has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Syracuse Symphony, has served as principal cellist of the Bear Valley Music Festival, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra.

An advocate of contemporary classical music, Fowler is particularly active in commissioning new works. In collaboration with saxophonist Paul Bro, he has been the recipient of three Indiana State University Arts Endowment Grants resulting in three new works for cello and alto saxophone: “Bid Call” by Libby Larsen, “Walking on Water” by Dorothy Chang, and a work by Chinese composer Zhou Long.

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