"Flamboyant vitality . . . expert performances.”
John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
“A unique and captivating sound that thrills the audience”
Luciano Pedota, RAVINIA Festival
The Ensemble has performed throughout the United States and Europe including appearances at the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Latino Music Festival, Mayne Stage, WFMT Radio, the Grand Rapids Museum of Art, the Communauté Juive de Nancy, Le Festival du film Juif de Paris, and has held residencies at Eau Claire University, St.John's School for the Arts (USVI), Arizona State University, Safford Arizona and the New Music School Chicago.
The project based Black Oak Ensemble presents exciting programs from Bach to the music of today, and is a passionate advocate of undiscovered and new works. They have recently premiered commissions from renowned composers such as Michael Nyman, David Ludwig and Conrad Tao.
The 2019/20 season will see the release of their debut album, SILENCED VOICES, on Cedille Records.
This project is a deeply personal program featuring WORLD PREMIERES of Jewish composers many of whom perished during the Holocaust.
As dedicated educators, the members of the ensemble have recently put down roots in the south of France, creating 'Musique Dans Le Gers', a music festival in the southwest of France, which gives them the opportunity to work with young musicians and share their gift of music with the community.
The ensemble was named for the black oak, a beautiful tree native to their home state of Illinois (one stands in the front yard of Desirée Ruhstrat and David Cunliffe).