Michael Strauss is a native of Cape Town, South Africa. He received his Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Capetown, and began his teaching career at the University of the Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, where he taught piano and chamber music and was the head vocal coach and chorusmaster of the Opera Department.
As a performer, Strauss was associated with the South African Broadcasting Company, where he was a frequently a soloist and accompanist on radio and television. He has also been the featured concerto soloist with the main orchestras of the country, including performances of Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Cape Town Performing Arts Board (CAPAB), Rachmaninoff's Paganini Variations with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, and Gershwin's I Got Rhythm Variations with the South African Broadcasting Company Symphony Orchestra.
Strauss has resided for the past 20 years in Boston, where he has taught for several performing arts institutions. In his past work as music director for the Boston Conservatory's opera program, he conducted Sour Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Albert Herring, Xerxes, L 'Egisto, and The Ballad of Baby Doe, among others. He continues to be an active artist on the Boston Conservatory's faculty recital series. At the Longy School of Music, he previously taught vocal performance classes and music directed opera scenes, and he has given numerous guest masterclasses at the institution.
Strauss maintains a busy schedule of performances outside of his conservatory work. He has been heard in recital at various Boston venues including the Museum of Fine Arts and the French Library and in New York at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. He has been the principal pianist with Boston Music Theater, which has performed in Cambridge's Regatta Bar, and frequently tours Europe, including concerts at the embassies in Brussels, Paris, and in Russia at both the Spaso House and Rachmaninoff Hall. He has recorded chamber music for WGBH, and was the featured concerto soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27 with the Brookline Chorus for the Mozart bicentennial. As a conductor, Strauss has led the New England premiere of Bizet's Pearl Fishers, Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Boston University's Tsai Center, and most recently, The Dialogues of the Carmelites with Boston Opera Collaborative.
Studies at University of Cape Town, South Africa. Former faculty of the University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg.