desirÉe ruhstrat, violin


The violin artistry of Desirée Ruhstrat has captivated audiences throughout Europe and the Americas. The Berlin Taggespiegel wrote, "...she played with such an intensive fire and sleepwalking assuredness that she was stormily celebrated by the audience." Ms. Ruhstrat is renown for her versatility as a soloist, Chamber musician and teacher.

Since her debut at age 12 with Lukas Foss and the Milwaukee Symphony, Ms. Ruhstrat has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the world, including the Berlin Radio Symphony, Radio Suisse Romande, Gottingen Symphony, Philharmonia Da Camera, Orchestra Symphonica Auguescalientes, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Concerto Soloists Of Philadelphia, Utah Symphony, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles, and National Repertory Orchestra and by special invitation of Sir George Solti in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall.

She has worked with such renowned conductors as Eric Kunzel, Max Rudolph, William Smith, Rico Saccani, Brian Priestman, JoAnn Falletta, Mats Liljefors among others. Ms. Ruhstrat has won numerous awards including first prize at the National Young Musicians Debut Competition in Los Angeles, where she was also lauded a special award for a young performer with extraordinary talent. She became the youngest prizewinner at Switzerland's Tibor Varga International Competition and also won the award for best interpretation of the commissioned contemporary composition. She went on to earn top prizes at the Carl Flesch, Julius Stulberg, and the Mozart Festival Violin Competitions.

Ms. Ruhstrat's distinguished career as a chamber musician includes performances throughout the US as a member of the Lincoln Trio, including Carnegie Weil Hall, Lincoln Center, Ravinia Festival, Indianapolis Symphony Beethoven Series, Poisson Rouge and Music In the Loft. She has also appeared as guest artist of the Chamber Music Series of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Apollo Chamber Ensemble, the Colorado Chambers Players, Pacifica Quartet, the University of Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Northwestern University Midwinter Series with Jorge Federico Osorio and Ani Kavafian, as well as collaborations with Shmuel Ashkenasi, Ilya Kaler and Roberto Diaz. Festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, Peninsula Music Festival, Laurel Festival of the Arts, the Breckenridge Music Festival and the Green Lake, University Of Wisconsin, Utah Music Festival, and ARIA International Summer Academy, Curtis Institute of Music Young Artist Program, where she has also served as faculty.

A champion of new music Ms. Ruhstrat has worked with some of the worlds leading composers, George Crumb, Jennifer Higdon, Shulamit Ran, Augusta Read Thomas, Chen Yi, Zhou Long and most recently had a work written for her by Laura Elise Schwendinger "Violinists In My Life."

Ms. Ruhstrat is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. Her teachers have included Aaron Rosand, Joseph Gingold, Harold Wippler and Dorothy Delay. Her discography includes the Stamitz Duo for Violin and Viola for Centaur Records ,the Ravel Duo for Violin and Cello for Albany Records, a 2013 GRAMMY nominated NAXOS release Annelies, based on the Diary of Anne Frank and multiple recordings with the Lincoln Trio on the Cedille Label and a 2017 GRAMMY Nomination for Trio’s From Our Homeland’s.

A passionate teacher, Ms. Ruhstrat's students are prizewinners of national and international competitions and members of professional orchestras worldwide. Ms. Ruhstrat has been on Faculty at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington and currently is on faculty and serves as the Strings Chamber Music Coordinator at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music. In 2014 Ms. Ruhstrat was awarded the American String Teachers Association Illinois Outstanding Studio Teacher Award.


PAul martin, viola


david cunliffe, cello

David began studying at the age of nine in his native England. Three years later he was chosen to receive a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London. In 1984 Mr. Cunliffe went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music and was the recipient of the Terrance Weill and Leonard Hirsch Quartet prizes and the Lady Barbirolli Chamber Music Award. 

He completed his studies at the International Yehudi Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland and toured throughout Europe with Yehudi Menuhin and the Camerata Lysy. 

In 1995 he was asked to join the Balanescu Quartet, touring extensively to Australia, Europe and the United States appearing frequently on radio and TV, including featured performances on NPR and the BBC. He has served as Principal cello with the RNCM Chamber and Symphony Orchestras and for performances with BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish and Royal Scottish Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Cunliffe can be heard on various recording labels including Enja, DMD, Albany and Cedille. 

David is currently on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago and is a member of the Lincoln Trio and black oak ensemble.


Aurelien fort pederzoli, viola

French-born violinist/violist Aurelien Fort Pederzoli has quickly risen to be known as one of Chicago’s most creative and sought-after collaborators.

Aurelien is a graduate of the Paris Conservatory, where he studied with world-renowned teacher Jean Lenert. He then attended the Bern Hochschule, Switzerland, where he was in the master class of Prof. Monika Urbaniak and received guidance from Prof. Igor Ozim. his primary teacher was veda reynolds, professor at the curtis institute of music in philadelphia.

In 2008, Aurelien founded the Anaphora Ensemble, a chamber music ensemble, which appeared frequently on national radio and performed in eclectic places, from the green mill to symphony hall. From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Pederzoli was first violinist of the Corky Siegel Chamber Blues band and toured nationally and internationally with them.

other collaborations include Rachel kolly, christian chamorel, daniel baremboim, kent nagano, the ysaye quartet, h.j lim, members of eighth blackbird, shmuel ashkenasi, jean jacques kantorow, itzakh perlman and mathieu dufour to name a few.

From 2009 until 2014, Aurelien was one of the violinists, and founding member, of the grammy nominated Spektral Quartet, in residence at the University of Chicago.



Denis Azabagic, is one of the most compelling classical guitarists on the international concert circuit today. He performs concerts around the globe, maintaining a balance between his solo recitals, chamber music with the Cavatina Duo, and engagements as soloist with orchestras.

Azabagic’s flawless performances have set a standard for the new generation of guitar players. He has won twenty-four prizes in international competitions and Mel Bay has published a book based on his experience and insights on the subject of competitions.

Azabagic has recorded 12 CDs for international labels such as Naxos, Cedille, Opera Tres, Bridge records and Orobroy, as well as two DVDs for the Mel Bay Company. His recordings and live performances are highly praised by music critics, for his elegant approach to music and his unique way of communicating and reaching the audiences’ hearts.

As a guest instrumentalist and soloist Azabagic has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Sacramento Chamber Orchestra, Madrid Symphony, Traverse Symphony, Monterrey Symphony, L’Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Mons, among many others. He has also collaborated with the Casals Quartet, Civitas Ensemble and Music Now members in Chicago.

Azabagic has performed at such venues as Chicago’s Symphony Center; the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Radio France in Paris; Aix-en-Provence Festival; France; El Palau de la Musica in Valencia, Spain; Savannah on Stage; Omni Foundation (San Francisco); Ravinia Festival; National Chang Kai Shek Cultural Center, Taiwan; and the the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China. Azabagic’s performances have been broadcast live on NPR and WFMT radio, and on television in Asia, Europe and the United States.

His repertoire includes solo and orchestral music from the Baroque era to the present. As half of the active Cavatina Duo (with Eugenia Moliner, flute), he has performed a vast repertoire including many works written expressly for the duo.

Azabagic’s love for performing extends to sharing with others his knowledge of music making. He frequently offers master classes while on tour, teaches at the University of Illinois and is the head of the guitar department at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Highlights of his upcoming season include concerts tours in the US, Canada, Spain, Denmark, etc…With the Cavatina Duo he will release a new CD entitled the Sephardic Journey, featuring new commissioned music based on old Sephardic melodies.



As a member of the “Cavatina Duo" with guitarist Denis Azabagic, she has performed in concert halls and festivals in more than 30 countries; across Europe, the USA, South America and Asia, in venues such as the Ravinia Festival, The Harris Theater, Symphony Center (Chicago), DaCamera Society, (Los Angeles), Mainly Mozart San Diego, the Opening Gala at the National Flute Association Conference USA, National Performing Arts Center in Beijing, The Oriental Arts Center Shangai (China)The National Flute Association (AFE) in Madrid, Palau de les Arts Valencia (Spain) the Aix-en-Provence Summer Festival (France), Campos de Jordao Festival, (Brazil) the International Guitar Festival in Frechen (Germany), The Doelen (Netherlands), The National Concert Hall in Taipei (Taiwan), Daejeon Philharmonic Concert Hall, (Korea), ICCR Music Center in Kolkata (India),among many others.

As a soloist with orchestra she has appeared with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Daejeon Philharmonic, Camerata Serbica, Sarajevo Philharmonic, Monterrey symphony and Traverse Symphony.

Ms. Moliner has also performed chamber music with Mathieu Dufour, as well as with other musicians from the Chicago Symphony orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Toronto Symphony, the Chicago Chamber Musicians and the Civitas Ensemble. She has appeared in recital with pianist Rob Broek, the New Opus Trio, the Aspen Trio, the Avalon String Quartet, and with the sopranos Patrice Michaels and Michelle Areizaga. While living in Holland she collaborated with numerous ensembles like the Rotterdam Baroque Ensemble and the National Philharmonic of the Netherlands.

Her live performances have been broadcasted in several classical radio stations in US and abroad; WFMT, NPR and Radio Nacional de Espana. She has also appeared on TV programs in Spain, Bosnia, the Netherlands and Taiwan.
Moliner’s discography includes 9 CD recordings, with international record labels such as Cedille, Bridge (USA), Orobroy and Opera Tres (Spain) and Neos (Germany).

Composers from around the world have written and dedicated new works to her Cavatina duo. They have premiered more than 30 works by Sérgio Assad and Clarice Assad (Brazil); Carlos Rivera, Michael Karmon; Alan Thomas (UK-US), David Leisner (US) Alejandro Yagüe (Spain); Atanas Ourkouzounov,(Bulgaria/France),Boris Gaquere (Belgium) and V. Ivanovic (Bosnia/Greece), and many others. The Duo received the Encore Prize in 2003 for their collaboration with Michael Karmon.

Eugenia Moliner has given Master classes throughout the United States, in Universities and Flute Clubs, as well as in Festivals and Schools in Spain, Brazil, Taiwan, Mexico, Bosnia, Serbia, India, Holland, Portugal and Denmark.

Mrs. Moliner is an Artist- Faculty at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where she has been teaching flute and Chamber Music since 2009. She also serves as a teaching associate in Flute at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Ms. Moliner started her music education at age 15, studying at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica Joaquin Rodrigo in Valencia (Spain). Later she studied at the Rotterdam’s Conservatorium CODARTS, (Netherlands), where she obtained degrees on Solo performance and Chamber Music. She also studied privately in Antwerp, Belgium.

Her teachers include; Jo Hagen (principal Rotterdam Phil) Jaime Martin (Principal St. Martin in the fields, European Chamber Orchestra), Kate Hill (English Chamber Orchestra). Els Van Zundert (principal Royal Opera Belgium).

She lives in River Forest,IL with her husband Denis and their son Alex. She speaks 5 languages and her hobbies include learning about astrophysics and painting watercolors.


jose ferreira, guitar


josé is a Brazilian guitarist born in 1979, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. As a self-taught musician, he began playing in his home town Goiania, where his talent was soon apparent.

The desire to develop his style through various musical influences led him to travel extensively throughout the United States, Argentina, The Netherlands, and France.

These journeys would broaden his musical horizons and expand his collaborations with numerous musicians. In 1999, Josè and guitarist Ricardo Mello formed a duo called Doubà, and moved to the United States to seek out new and diverse musical experiences. They released two albums: Soundflower in 2001, and Latitude in 2003.

Josè released his first solo album “Violao e Cordas” (guitar and strings) in 2005. Accompanied by Kailin Young on violin, Evan Orman on cello and by the Denver String Ensemble, he recorded works by Villa-Lobos, Radamés Gnattali e Astor Piazzolla.

In 2006 he moved to Paris to study at the Ecole Normale de Musique with the renowned guitarist Alberto Ponce. In 2008 he received his diploma as concert performer and continued his development with the artist Tania Chagnot at the Haÿ-les-Roses conservatory.

Currently he shares his enthusiasm and passion for Brazilian music with Parisian audiences, frequently performing solo and as accompanist with several groups, including Duo In Uno, Trio In Uno, Travessias, and Bécots da Lappa.

                                  Evan Orman, Bandoneon                            


Born in Colorado, Evan Orman studied cello at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Banff Centre In Canada, and the New England Conservatory. His teachers include Colin Carr, Eleanor Shoenfeld and Robert Marsh. He has performed in master classes for Yo Yo Ma, Janos Starker and the Guarneri Quartet and has worked closely with violinist Louis Krasner and composer Iannis Xenakis.

An enthusiast of Argentine tango, Evan has studied tango music and the bandonéon (a large, complex instrument which is a member of the concertina family) in Buenos Aires (through a grant from Tango Colorado) and plays the bandonéon in his Denver-based group, Extasis. His interest in the bandonéon, and in the music of Astor Piazzolla (the Argentine bandoneonista and composer) prompted him to acquire his first instrument in 1996. He has studied with Raul Jaurena, of the New York Tango Trio and in Buenos Aires with Camillo Ferrero, of Orquesta El Arranque. In addition, Extasis has coached with bassist Pablo Aslan (also of the New York Tango Trio). He now owns and plays on three bandonéons by Alfred Arnold (Germany) ca. 1925, 1926 and 1936 (the last of these instruments were made in the 1940’s).

Michelle Orman.jpg


Michelle Joseph Orman is a native of Texas and attended the University of North Texas and West Texas State University. She studied with Andy Crisanti, the former principal of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Opera Orchestra, the Texas Chamber Orchestra, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Ballet Orchestra. She now resides in Denver, Colorado and is the principal clarinetist with the Colorado Ballet Orchestra and the Opera Colorado Orchestra. Michelle is also the bass clarinetist with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, second clarinetist in the Central City Opera, and frequently performs with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

She has taught at West Texas State University and the University of Denver and maintains an active private clarinet studio. Michelle is also a member of the music faculty at the University of Northern Colorado and is Executive Director of the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestras. Michelle is also a passionate rescuer of Doberman Pinschers and other dogs in need.



American cellist Johannes Gray (22) started playing at the age of two. Giving his first concert at three, he learned very early the joy of performing and sharing music with the public. His audiences are drawn in by his open personality, warm sound, sincere musicality, and effortless technique. He studied for many years in Chicago with Hans Jensen and Gilda Barston. There he won every competition there was to offer, and soloed with each regional orchestra including the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he decided to expand his horizons and went to Europe to discover the musical world there, taking part in many festivals and masterclasses, such as the Verbier Festival Academy, Kronberg Academy, and the Cello Biënnale Amsterdam. Johannes studies at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris with Jérôme Pernoo and at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin with Frans Helmerson. In 2018, he won the International Pablo Casals Award.