Anna Urso was the recipient of DePauw University’s Music Performance Award while pursuing a B.M. in Viola Performance and B.A. in Environmental Geoscience. While at DePauw, she studied with Dr. Nicole Brockmann and served as principal violist of the DPU Symphony and Opera Orchestras. A seasoned performer, Urso led the viola section on tour with the DPU Chamber Orchestra where she performed in Munich, Salzburg, and at the world-renowned Wiener Musikverein concert hall in Vienna.

    Urso discovered her love of music through piano lessons at the age of three. She picked up viola with her elementary school’s orchestra and studied with Shanda Lowery-Sachs of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. As a native of Detroit, she grew up surrounded by Michigan’s numerous musical opportunities gaining experience at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and in the Detroit Metropolitan Youth Symphony. Urso went on to perform and work with various musicians and composers including Yo-Yo Ma, Joan Tower, John Corigliano, Roberto Sierra, Libby Larsen, Joseph Schwantner, and Aaron Kernis.

    In 2015, Urso moved across the country to Tucson, Arizona to work as a planetary geologist for HiRISE, a NASA funded mission at the University of Arizona. It was there that she met viola professor Hong-Mei Xiao, an internationally established soloist, and began her M.M. in Viola Performance at the U of A. While in Tucson, Urso performed with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra and the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra.

    Urso works as an environmental scientist for The Nature Conservancy, while performing and maintaining a small studio providing private instruction on viola, violin, and piano in Lansing, MI. Evident through her career as both a musician and scientist, she is a firm believer in the importance of both STEM and arts curriculums in school. Urso strives to instill a love of learning in her students and uses music education as a tool to connect the arts with the sciences.