Philosophy book by Strauss receives post-humous publication

CHESTERTOWN — Michael Alexander Strauss’ philosophy book “A Tao for Now: The Music of Lao-Tsu” has been released by Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc.

The book explores the teachings of ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tsu.

“The poetry of Lao-Tsu has long served as a guide to understanding the Tao – that underlying reality beyond time and space and matter which we can experience in our lives,” said the Rev. Bryant Brown, a Unitarian Universalist minister, in a news release. “Michael Strauss has provocatively, helpfully woven ideas of modern philosophers, scientists, poets with our culture’s memes into a free-flowing, meditative, accessible contact with the wisdom and music of Lao-Tsu.”

Some of those writers referenced in the book include William Shakespeare, Wallace Stevens, William Blake and T. S. Eliot, among others, whose ideas are woven into the 85 poems inspired by Lao-Tsu, the release states.

Strauss passed away on March 9 after a short illness, according to his obituary.

A Chestertown resident and 1976 graduate of Yale University, Strauss held a master’s degree in performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and had a distinguished performance career on the viola.

He was the principal violist of Omaha Symphony for 11 years and the Cedar Rapids Symphony for eight years before moving to the Eastern Shore in 1999, where he was principal violist of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and a founding member of the Mariner String Quartet.

Strauss also was a teacher — conducting lessons in a private teaching studio in Upper Gwynedd, Pa. — and a writer and a poet.

His other manuscript, “Beach Sequences,” a volume of poetry written during a winter sojourn in Ocean City, is reportedly being readied for publication.

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