Young Artist Summer Program Faculty Recital: July 20

Curtis Summerfest Faculty Recitals, now in their fourth year, feature distinguished chamber musicians from the Curtis Summerfest faculty. These remarkable artists, many of them Curtis alumni, perform a variety of repertoire—from beloved classics to the music of today—in the timeless setting of Field Concert Hall.


Sonata eroïca, Op. 94
Patrick Kreeger, organ


Sonora Slocum, flute


Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15
Desirée Ruhstrat, violin
Sharon Wei, viola
David Cunliffe, cello
Natalie Zhu, piano


Sonora Slocum is principal flute of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in orchestras around the country, including appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra; and with the Chicago Symphony and the Orpheus Chamber orchestras as guest principal flute. She has recorded and toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; and has appeared on video recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York.  She has performed under conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Sir Simon Rattle, Edo de Waart, Otto-Werner Mueller, John Williams and David Zinman, among many others.              

Ms. Slocum regularly performs at the Lincoln Center Festival, Strings Music Festival, Twickenham Fest, Frankly Music, and the Lakes Area Music Festival in Minnesota. She has collaborated with the contemporary group eighth blackbird.

Ms. Slocum grew up in New York City, where she attended the pre-college divisions of the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music. She holds a bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Slocum has studied with Jeffrey Khaner, Robert Langevin, and Bart Feller, among many others.

Violinist Desirée Ruhstrat is renowned as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher across Europe and the Americas. She has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the world, and has worked with such renowned conductors as Sir Georg Solti, Erich Kunzel, Max Rudolf, and Lukas Foss, under whom she made her solo debut at age twelve. Ms. Ruhstrat has won numerous awards including first prize at the National Young Musicians Foundation’s Debut Concerto Competition and top prizes at the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition, the Stulberg International String Competition, and the Mozart Festival violin competition. She was the youngest prizewinner at the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition Sion Valais, also winning the award for best interpretation of the commissioned composition.

A member of the Lincoln Trio, Ms. Ruhstrat has performed throughout South America, Europe, and Asia; at such domestic venues as Weill Recital Hall and Lincoln Center; and as part of the Ravinia Festival and the Indianapolis Symphony’s Beethoven series. The trio received a 2016 Grammy nomination.

Ms. Ruhstrat serves as the String Chamber Music Coordinator at Northwestern University and was previously on the faculty at Indiana University. In 2014 she was awarded the Illinois-American String Teachers Association Outstanding Studio Teacher Award.

Canadian violist Sharon Wei is a dynamic musician, establishing herself as one of the most respected violists on the scene today. A soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra principal, she has collaborated with conductors James Levine, Kent Nagano, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta, and Yuri Termirkanov, among others. She has been guest principal violist of the Cincinnati Symphony, Canadian Opera Company, and Ensemble Matheus in Paris. She has played chamber music with Lynn Harrell, Gary Hoffman, Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Joseph Silverstein, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet.Ms. Wei co-founded Ensemble Made in Canada, which won a CBC rising stars award and is currently ensemble-in-residence at Western University. She has given master classes throughout China, the U.S., and Canada and has taught at Yale and Stanford universities. Currently she serves as assistant professor of viola at Western University. She has created a course for performance majors in which students learn important off-stage initiatives such as networking, concert production, grant writing, website design, and managing finances. Ms. Wei is a 2004 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.


Patrick Kreeger enjoys a versatile career as a pianist, organist, and choral conductor. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Benaroya Hall (Seattle), Verizon Hall (Philadelphia), St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York), Peterborough Cathedral (U.K.), Musee d’Augustin (France), and numerous other venues in the United States and Europe. He is associate organist at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City.

Mr. Kreeger made his concerto debut in April 2008 with the North Carolina Symphony and conductor William Henry Curry. He has been guest soloist with the Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra (CO), the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra, the SUNY–Purchase Conservatory Orchestra, Symphonicity, and the Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra. He was a first-prize winner in the American Protégé International, Bradshaw and Buono International, and North Carolina Symphony Concerto competitions. He won the bronze medal and Chopin Award at the 2009 Seattle International Piano Competition; and first prize in the 2009 Augustana/Reuter National Organ Competition. Mr. Kreeger received his bachelor’s degree in organ from the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Alan Morrison, and subsequently earned his master’s degree in organ at Yale University, studying with Martin Jean. He is now pursuing a doctoral degree at the Juilliard School, studying with Paul Jacobs.