November 15, 2003 by

Robert Strassburg

1 comment

Categories: Education, Musicians, Writers/Editors

Robert Strassburg, the founder of the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, died on Oct. 25 from complications of a stroke. He was 88.
Strassburg always had a passion for music. A classically trained concert pianist who played eight hours a day, he also loved composing, conducting and teaching. He received his bachelor’s degree in music from the New England Conservatory of Music, his master’s degree from Harvard University and his doctorate of fine arts from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles.
In the 1930s, Strassburg married Kathryn Ulanoff after they met on a pier at Coney Island, N.Y. His wife inspired him to write more than 1,000 poems during their 60-year marriage. To commemorate Walt Whitman, one of his favorite poets, he co-chaired the Walt Whitman Centennial in 1992 and composed a 10-movement choral symphony, entitled “Leaves of Grass.”
The couple moved to Miami in 1950 where Strassburg became involved in the local music scene. He wrote more than 40 documentary film scores and was named Miami’s Composer of the Year in 1955. Three years later, he decided to build the All Miami Youth Symphony Orchestra (now the Greater Miami Youth Symphony) so his son would have a place to perform with other talented children. A Robert Strassburg Piano Concerto competition is held each year to honor its founding director.
Strassburg moved to California in the early ’60s to complete his doctoral studies. He taught music at California Status University in Los Angeles and received the institution’s Outstanding Professor Award. A leading authority on the music of Ernest Bloch, Strassburg also published the biography, “Ernest Block: Voice in the Wilderness.”

One Response to Robert Strassburg

  1. Michael Isaacson

    I was honored to share a CD of Robert’s and my choral music produced by the Los Angeles Zimriyah. It is entitled IN GOOD COMPANY conducted by Maestro Nick Strimple. Bob was a dear friend and mentor in my younger years. I miss his ebullience, encouragement, and profound belief in humanity. He was a wonderful colleague and a disciplined, enthusiastic composer.
    Michael Isaacson

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