Home Page



WFMT presents Live at Mayne Stage

Desiree Ruhstrat, David Cunliffe, and  Goran Ivanovic

Sunday, Apr 10, 2011 11:00 AM CDT (10:00 AM Doors)
Mayne Stage

1328 West Morse Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 381-4554
: direction

General Admission - $10.00  purchase ticket

         Mayne Stage


Desiree Ruhstrat, violin and David Cunliffe, cello

Desiree Ruhstrat, violin

The violin artistry of Desirée Ruhstrat has captivated audiences throughout Europe and the Americas. As the Berlin Taggespiegel wrote, "…she played with such an intensive fire and sleepwalking assuredness that she was stormily celebrated by the audience." A seasoned performer, Ms. Ruhstrat made her professional debut at the age of twelve with Lukas Foss and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. At 16, Ms. Ruhstrat was invited by Sir George Solti to perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in Chicago's Orchestra Hall.

Ms. Ruhstrat has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the world, including the Berlin Radio Symphony, Gottingen Symphony, Philharmonia Da Camera, Radio Suisse Romande, Orchestra Symphonica Auguescalientes, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Concerto Soloists Of Philadelphia, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles, Concord Chamber Orchestra, Concertante Di Chicago, and National Repertory Orchestra, and worked with such conductors as Eric Kunzel, William Smith, Rico Saccani, Brian Priestman, Mats Liljefors, and Max Rudolph, 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 the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, Oakmont Chamber Series, Indianapolis Symphony Beethoven Series, Ravinia Festival, and Music in the Loft. She has also appeared as guest artist of the Chamber Music Series of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the 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, where she has also served as faculty.

Ms. Ruhstrat is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, having studied with Joseph Gingold, Harold Wippler, and Aaron Rosand. Her discography includes the Stamitz Duo for Violin and Viola for Centaur Records and the Ravel Duo for Violin and Cello for Albany Records, and multiple recordings with the Lincoln Trio on the Cedille label.

David Cunliffe, cello

Cellist David Cunliffe 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 where he founded the Argyll String Quartet and was the recipient of the Terrance Weill and Leonard Hirsch Quartet prizes and the Lady Barbirolli Chamber Music Award.

His teachers included Margaret Moncreiff, Moray Welsh, William Pleeth, Christopher Bunting and Ralph Kirshbaum. He completed his studies at the International Yehudi Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland where he studied with Radu Aldulescu 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.

A founding member of the Virtuosi Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Cunliffe is currently on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago and is a member of the Lincoln Trio, ensemble-in-residence at the Music Institute of Chicago.


Goran Ivanovic, guitar

Goran Ivanovic is a native of Croatia, a Balkan country torn by the civil strife that engulfed the former Yugoslavia. The musical son of a Serbian father and a Bosnian Croat mother, he has crossed many boundaries in his life and in his music. While he was studying at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with masters such as Elliot Fisk and Joaquin Clerch, his parents were expelled from Croatia and were granted political asylum in the United States. Since his residence in this country, Goran’s broad grounding in Classical music has been enriched by influences of Jazz,Balkan and the World Music.

Goran frequently performs at mayor festivals and concert halls in the US,as well as TV and Radio performances. He has been featured on Chicago Tonight, WTTW,Dame Myra Hess Concert's,848 on Chicago Public Radio. As a leader he has released 6 albums:1999 Guitar Solo, 2001 Macedonian Blues(with Fareed Haque),2005 Seven Boats (with FH),2006 Goran Ivanovic Group,2007 Folk Tales (Eastern Blok),2009 Goran Ivanovic and Andreas Kapsalis Guitar Duo.

Goran's music has been published by Lemoine publication's in Paris under direction of grammy winning artist Sergio Assad. Goran has taught as a guest artist at Carnegie Mellon University, Princeton University, Cornell University, University of Michigan,Depaul University,Truman University and has appeared at prestigious events such as Chicago World Music Festival, NY Guitar Festival,NY Jazz Festival,Wall To Wall Guitar Festival as well as legendary Jazz clubs The Blues Alley,Firefly Club,Joe's Pub and Chris Jazz Cafe.

His current projects are: Eastern Blok, Grazyna Auguschik Orchestar, Goran with Fareed Haque and Goran with Andreas Kapsalis.


Chicago Tribune Article on the Desiree, David and Goran's performance on Jan 15 Sat at the Music In The Loft

"...Saturday's performers savored this accessible, cannily crafted music to ingratiating effect, particularly Ruhstrat and Cunliffe in a polka that echoes the nose-thumbing humor of Shostakovich's "Age of Gold."

More familiar Argentinean music arrived courtesy of Astor Piazzolla's rousing "Libertango," which the violinist, cellist and guitarist played in their own transcription, idiomatic right down to the scraping fiddle flourishes over the insistent rhythmic ostinato of the other stringed instruments.

Less well-known was Paganini's "Centone di Sonata," one of six such two-movement sonatinas composed by the 19th century Italian violin and guitar virtuoso. The violin dominates the dialogue with bravura flights and left-hand pizzicati, relegating the guitar to an accompanying role. Ruhstrat and Ivanovic dug into the music incisively, yet elegantly.

The prolific Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos was represented by four solo guitar pieces and a transcription of the famous Aria from his "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5." Ivanovic, a performer perhaps best known as one-half of the Ivanovic-Andreas Kapsalis Guitar Duo, conveyed the shifting colors and rhythms fluidly and with fleet fingers, whether playing alone or in tandem with Cunliffe's singing cello.

From Brazil it was off to Spain for two more arrangements – an Andalusian dance by Granados as transcribed for cello and guitar, and a Spanish dance from Falla's "La Vida Breve" as reworked by the three musicians from Fritz Kreisler's violin and piano transcription. The flamboyant vitality of the originals lived on in the arrangements as well as the expert performances..."

~ John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

read the full article at Chicago Tribune website

1328 West Morse Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 381-4554