Michael Straus is a San Francisco-based saxophonist, improviser, composer, writer, and arts organizer. His recent work has involved collaborations with a small, tightly knit group of electroacoustic composers, performers, dancers, visual artists and instrument builders. He is founder of the multimedia performance project What are you looking at? and regularly performs with the chamber ensembles EAR Duo, Moonrise Hernandez, quux, M2Duo, and Portals of Distortion. He has been a featured artist internationally with performances at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Belgium's Logos Foundation, Ireland's Sonic Arts Research Center, Paris' Eglise Saint-Merri, New York City’s The Stone, Berlin's Universität der Künste, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ.
As an educator, Michael has presented guest lectures on topics surrounding music, technology and improvisation for students at Yale University's Music & Technology Lab, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Amsterdam's STEIM, the University of Michigan's Performing Arts Technology Department, Oberlin’s TIMARA Program, Brandeis University, and the University of Miami among others. His recordings as a performer, composer and improviser can be heard on Innova, Everglade, EcoSono, SEAMUS, Audition Records, New Tertian and The Walter's Art Museum record labels.
He is the recipient of a 2010 American-Scandinavian Foundation Creative Arts Grant (Oslo), 2008–2009 J. William Fulbright Fellowship (Amsterdam), a Peabody Career Development Grant, an American Composers Forum Encore Grant and Meet the Composer Creative Connections Grant. He holds graduate degrees in saxophone performance and computer music from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and is currently Director of Operations at Other Minds, where he produces the “premier new music festival on the West Coast” (Los Angeles Times).