Desirée Ruhstrat, Violin / Aurélien Fort Pederzoli, Viola / David Cunliffe, Cello

Desirée Ruhstrat, Violin / Aurélien Fort Pederzoli, Viola / David Cunliffe, Cello

Aurélien's mother, a history teacher, who comes from a Sephardic family has devoted her life to bringing awareness to the Holocaust.

One of her proudest endeavors was bringing students every year on a teaching voyage to Prague, Budapest, Krakow, Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Terezin.

In the spring of 2016, Desirée and David came back from Budapest, Hungary with some string trios they had found in a local shop, these pieces were among them. These works are fantastic works of art and, through their darkness, are incredibly human and ultimately uplifting.

That such music could be written in these conditions is a testament to the resilience and faith of these artists.

Black Oak recently concluded recording these composers in their debut album Silenced Voices for Cedille Records, to be released in 2019. The ensemble is committed to sharing this music with the Chicago Community at large, in collaboration with not only Synagogues but also educational centers, and the rest of the world.

Our hope is for this project to speak for those who were so brutally silenced during the Pogroms, the Exiles and the Shoah. Ordinary people suffered, artists suffered, their voices needed to be heard.


The composers


Sandor Kuti (1908-1945)

Hungarian Jewish composer. Very few of his works remain.


Gideon Klein (1919 – 1945)

Czech composer who also took part in the cultural life at Theresienstadt. Klein was deported to Auschwitz in October 1944 and then to Fürstengrube in October 1944, less than two weeks after completing his string trio.


Hans Krása

(1899 – 1944)

Czech composer, murdered at Auschwitz. He too helped to organize cultural life in Theresienstadt concentration camp.


Paul Hermann (1902 – 1944)

Hungarian virtuoso cellist and composer.


Géza Frid

(1904 – 1989)

Hungarian - Dutch composer and pianist.


Dick Kattenburg (1919 – 1944)

A Dutch composer.