From left, cellist David Cunliffe, violinist Desirée Ruhstadt and violist Aurélien Fort Pederzoli.

Chamber Music Marin continues its 2023-24 Chamber Music Concert Series this month, which will run through May 19 at Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church in Mill Valley, with the Black Oak Ensemble on Sunday, January 28 at 5pm.

The Black Oak Ensemble consists of violinist Desirée Ruhstadt, cellist David Cunliffe, and violist Aurélien Fort Pederzoli. Currently in residence at the New Music School in Chicago, they concertize throughout Europe and North America. The concert will include selections from their concert and recording project, “Silenced Voices,” string trios created by Jewish composers silenced by the Holocaust.

The concert will include selections from their concert and recording project, “Silenced Voices,” string trios created by Jewish composers silenced by the Holocaust.

About Silenced Voices:  Aurélien’s mother, a history teacher who comes from a Sephardic family, 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 string trios they had found in a local shop that were penned by young musicians who would not survive the holocaust. The pieces featured in Silenced Voices were among them. These pieces 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.

The Black Oak Ensemble is committed to sharing this music with communities all across the country, 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, and their voices needed to be heard,” the trio said in a statement.  

The season will continue the celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary of presenting world-renowned classical musicians in intimate concerts at affordable prices. 

The rest of the 2023-2024 Chamber Music Marin Concert Series Line-Up: 

Manasse, Frautschi & Nakamatsu Trio – February 25 | 5 PM
Grammy Award-nominated violinist Jennifer Frautschi joins forces with the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo (clarinet and piano) for a series of concerts featuring the three instruments in various combinations. We welcome back Bay Area native John Nakamatsu, winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Viano Quartet – May 5 | 5PM
This exciting young string quartet is in residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia when not touring. Their program will include a Haydn string quartet, Smetana’s “From My Life” Quartet, and Beethoven’s great “Rasumovsky Quartet” Opus 59 No. 2.

Marin Music Chest’s Young Artists Concert – May 19 | 5pm

Subscribers receive a free ticket to the Young Artists’ Concert of the Marin Music Chest with their subscription. The Mill Valley Chamber Music Society supports the goals of the Marin Music Chest and hopes that subscribers will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to hear talented young musicians. Each year the quality of the winners is very impressive making this concert an inspiring event for all who attend. We encourage you to bring your friends and family, the concert is free to all comers.

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