FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 7:30

Solos & Refreshment

FREE CONCERT (Short program, works TBD)


Saint-Saëns Fantaisie for Violin & Harp

Schoenberg Verklärte Nacht for String Sextet

Dvorák Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op 87

SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 3:30

Debussy Danse sacrée et danse profane

Mozart Duo No 2 for Violin & Viola, K 424

Dohnányi Serenade for String Trio, Op 10

Brahms Piano Quartet No 3 in C minor, Op 60


The winner of the Second Prize at the 2016 Queen Elisabeth Competition and the 2015 William Petschek Recital Debut Award from The Juilliard School, pianist Henry Kramer is establishing himself as one of the most exciting American musicians of his generation. His performances have been praised by critics as “triumphant” and “thrilling” (The New York Times), and “technically effortless” (La Presse, Montreal). After his Philadelphia recital debut, Peter Dobrin of the Philadelphia Inquirer deemed Henry,

”…a pianist of enormous talent…[he] personalized interpretations to such a degree that works emerged anew. He is a big personality.”
-Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer


Henry has been invited to play with orchestras across the globe including the National Belgian Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, Turkey, the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Métropolitain du Montreal, and the Yale Philharmonia.  He has soloed under the batons of preeminent conductors Marin Alsop, Jan Pascal Tortelier, and Stéphane Dénève. In recent seasons, Mr. Kramer was featured in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the National Orchestra of Belgium and Hans Graf, in Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional in the Dominican Republic, Ravel's Concerto in G with Gerard Schwarz and the Indianapolis Symphony, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Symphony in C.


Mr. Kramer has been a guest performer in recitals at Portland Piano International (Oregon), The Cliburn Foundation, and the National Chopin Foundation in Miami and in important venues like Carnegie Hall in NY, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Queen Elizabeth Hall in Antwerp (Belgium) and BOZAR in Brussels.  Deeply committed to the chamber music repertoire, he has been featured in performances at Lincoln Center, and has participated in the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest, Music@Menlo’s International Program, and the Verbier Festival Academy, where he was awarded the Tabor Prize in piano. He appeared on Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute tour, which included performances at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and New York’s Morgan Library, as well as an unprecedented appearance in Havana, Cuba, as a cultural ambassador. This past summer, Mr. Kramer performed in the Orchestra of St. Luke’s Resonance Festival dedicated to the works of Schubert and also at the Salon Chamber Music Festival in Provence where he shared the stage with prominent members of the Berlin Philharmonic including Emmanuel Pahud and Daishin Kashimoto.


Dr. Kramer holds both a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School and an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music where he received the Charles S. Miller Prize for the most outstanding first-year pianist. In 2018, he earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Yale School of Music.  He has been the Iva Dee Hiatt Visiting Artist in piano at Smith College and also served as Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Dance and Music. His musical mentors have included Julian Martin, Robert McDonald, and Boris Berman. Henry's first commercial recording dedicated to the Oratorio Transcriptions of Liszt was recently released on the NAXOS label.  Since August of 2018, Dr. Kramer holds the L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia.

This is Henry's second season at Pierce Hill Performing Arts.


The violin artistry of Desirée Ruhstrat has captivated audiences throughout Europe and the Americas. The Berlin Taggespiegel wrote, "...she played with such an intensive fire and sleepwalking assuredness that she was stormily celebrated by the audience." Ms. Ruhstrat is renown for her versatility as a soloist, Chamber musician, and teacher.


Since her debut at age 12 with Lukas Foss and the Milwaukee Symphony, Ms. Ruhstrat has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the world, including the Berlin Radio Symphony, Radio Suisse Romande, Gottingen Symphony, Philharmonia Da Camera, Orchestra Symphonica Aguascalientes, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Concerto Soloists Of Philadelphia, Utah Symphony, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles, and National Repertory Orchestra and by special invitation of Sir George Solti in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall.


She has worked with such renowned conductors as Eric Kunzel, Max Rudolph, William Smith, Rico Saccani, Brian Priestman, Mats Liljefors 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 Carnegie Weil Hall, Lincoln Center, Ravinia Festival, Indianapolis Symphony Beethoven Series, Poisson Rouge and Music In the Loft. She has also appeared as guest artist of the Chamber Music Series of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, 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.


A champion of new music Ms. Ruhstrat has worked with some of the worlds leading composers, George Crumb, Jennifer Higdon, Shulamit Ran, Augusta Read Thomas, Chen Yi, Zhou Long and most recently had a work written for her by Laura Elise Schwendinger "Violinists In My Life."


Ms. Ruhstrat is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. Her teachers have included Aaron Rosand, Joseph Gingold, Harold Wippler and Dorothy Delay. Her discography includes the Stamitz Duo for Violin and Viola for Centaur Records ,the Ravel Duo for Violin and Cello for Albany Records, a 2013 GRAMMY nominated NAXOS release Annelies, based on the Diary of Anne Frank and multiple recordings with the Lincoln Trio on the Cedille Label and a 2016 GRAMMY Nomination for Trio’s From Our Homeland’s.


A passionate teacher, Ms. Ruhstrat's students are prizewinners of national and international competitions and members of professional orchestras worldwide. Ms. Ruhstrat has been on Faculty at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington and currently is on faculty and serves as the Strings Chamber Music Coordinator at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music. In 2014 Ms. Ruhstrat was awarded the American String Teachers Association Illinois Outstanding Studio Teacher Award.

This is Ms Ruhstrat's second season at Pierce Hill Performing Arts. 



The first prize winner of the 2020 Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition, 19-year-old violinist Julian Rhee​ is fast gaining recognition as an outstanding musician and performer in the United States.

An avid soloist, Julian made his Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra debut at age 8 and has gone on to perform with orchestras such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Symphony Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Avanti Symphony Orchestra, West Suburban Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Philharmonic, the Lacrosse Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and most recently, the San Diego Symphony. He has performed in an array of venues including Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall, Heinz Hall, the Overture Center for the Arts, Teatro El Círculo in Rosario, Argentina, The Musikverein in Vienna, Bartok Hall in Hungary, New World Center, and the John F Kennedy Center. Upcoming engagements include appearances with the Santa Cruz Symphony, Flint Symphony, Menomonee Falls Symphony, and Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra.

Julian is also the first prize winner of the Johansen International Competition in Washington DC. A Finalist of the National YoungArts Foundation, where he performed at the New World Center in Miami, Julian was also awarded the Solo Bach, Commissioned Work, and the Elaine H. Klein Prize at the Irving M. Klein International String Competition. Subsequently, Julian appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center as a Presidential Scholar and received his medal at the White House. In the summer of 2018, Julian was the recipient of the 2019 Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Scholarship, and was named the winner of the Aspen Music Festival Violin Concerto Competition, where he performed with the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra at Benedict Music Tent.

A passionate chamber musician, Julian’s performance on violin and viola earned him and his String Quartet first prize in the 2018 A.N. & Pearl G. Barnett Chamber Music Competition, Rembrandt, Fischoff and the M-Prize International Chamber Arts Competition. This past summer, Julian appeared with the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City, and also performed with recent Avery Fisher Career Grant Winner Henry Kramer at Pierce Hill Performing Arts in August.

Julian has appeared alongside internationally renowned ensemble Time for Three on NPR’s From The Top, 98.7 WFMT’s Introductions, Milwaukee Public Radio 89.7, Milwaukee Public Television, and Wisconsin Public Radio and Television (WPT/WPR). Julian shares his passion for music by serving in the local community as an assisting artist and mentor of the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra (WIO), which brings together musicians of all ages and skill levels. In addition, he regularly speaks and performs at schools and retirement homes in Wisconsin and Illinois, most recently at Palo Alto High School, West Bend High School and North Shore Country Day School as its Susan Marshall Artist.

Julian studied with Almita and Roland Vamos as a scholarship recipient at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy. He is a graduate of Brookfield East High School as Class President and Valedictorian. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory.

This is Julian's second season at Pierce Hill Performing Arts.


Violist Tabitha Rhee is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Music degree at the Juilliard School where she studies with Misha Amory and Heidi Castleman, and is a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship.

She is the winner of the 2019 Juilliard Concerto Competition and soloed with the Juilliard Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Peter Oundjian, performing the Bloch Suite 1919 for Viola and Orchestra. Tabitha is a recipient of the Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Foundation Scholarship from the Musicians Club of Women, and won the Society of American Musicians Young Artist Competition. She has soloed with the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra, Madison Symphony Orchestra, and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Tabitha has attended the Music@Menlo International Program, Yellow Barn Young Artist Program, and Finckel-Wu Han Chamber Music Program at the Aspen Music Festival, where she was a New Horizons Fellow. She has worked closely with esteemed coaches such as Samuel Rhodes, Natasha Brofsky, Arnaud Sussman, Veda Kaplinsky, and Roger Tapping.

A founding member of the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra, she serves as an artistic assistant and mentor when she is home in Wisconsin. Tabitha is a former student of Roland and Almita Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy.

This is Ms Rhee's second season at Pierce Hill Performing Arts.



Harpist  Juan Riveros is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Harp Performance and Music Theory at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studies with the renowned harpist, Yolanda Kondonassis. 

Juan has won a number of awards and prizes including the YoungArts Merit Award in Classical Music/Harp, a Grand Finalist in the 2018 Anne Adams Awards, Honorable Mention at the 2019 Lyon and Healy Awards, winner of the Third Place Medal at the 2019 American Harp Society National Competition-Young Professional Division, and competition participant in the 2019 USA International Harp Competition, and the Texas Young Master Award.

Juan is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied with the legendary teacher, Joan Raeburn Holland. He has performed and soloed with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and the Round Top Festival Orchestra. Other notable mentors include Alison Read and Sylvia Norris.


Known for his “rich tone and lyrical acumen” (Chicago Tribune), violist Michael Isaac Strauss has performed around the world as a soloist, recitalist, in chamber music, and in symphonic settings. His love for the intimate concert setting has led to performances on concert series, live radio broadcasts, and festival appearances across Europe, North America, and Asia.


A former member of the distinguished Fine Arts Quartet, Strauss made several European and domestic tours with them, as well as a critically acclaimed recording of Mozart’s complete viola quintets on the Lyrinx label. He is a founding member of the new Indianapolis Quartet, in residence at the University of Indianapolis since 2016, where he also serves on the faculty. Strauss has also taught at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music since 2016 and is the violist for the Dana Trio, in residence at Youngstown State University.


Strauss’ solo work is featured on several CDs—the debut recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Sonata, David Finko’s Viola Concerto (re-released in 2015), Stamitz’s works for solo viola with orchestra (Centaur), and the Suzuki Viola School CDs, Volumes 8 and 9. He has also recorded chamber works by living composers with the Philadelphia-based Orchestra 2001, the complete string quintets by Mozart with the Fine Arts Quartet, and he recently released Wordless Verses (Naxos)—trio works inspired by poetry for oboe, viola, and piano with the Jackson Trio.


Strauss was principal violist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for 20 years and has served on the faculty of several prominent schools including Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, and Swarthmore College. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. 


This is Strauss' third season at Pierce Hill Performing Arts.

Michael performs on a Matteo Albani viola, Bolzano, Italy, ca.1704.


Cellist Wyatt Sutherland is the former Principal Cellist of the Chamber Orchestras of Louisville, Oklahoma City, and Baltimore, and has performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic, Baton Rouge Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, Yamagata Symphony Orchestra (Japan), and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  


He became interested in the cello after hearing the legendary cellist, Janos Starker solo with the Louisville Orchestra. At age 9 he started cello studies with Guillermo Helguera, at the University of Louisville String Academy, and upon graduating high school began studies with Starker at Indiana University's School of Music in Bloomington (IN). Other cello mentors include Raya Garbousova, Susanna Onwood, Thaddeus Bryce and Yoshio Sato.


Wyatt has worked with luminaries such as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Klaus Tennstedt, Gunther Schuller, David Zinman, Mischa Schneider, Josef Gingold, Menahem Pressler, Louis Krasner, Juilliard String Quartet, and the Tokyo String Quartet. He was a Fellowship recipient at the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals, and a recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Scholarship, Gustav Golden Award, Mark Allen Everett Foundation Award, and the Phillips Petroleum Foundation Award. Wyatt performed the North American premiere of Yehudi Wyner's "De Novo" for Cello and Chamber Ensemble at the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival.

Often referred to as a Renaissance Man, Wyatt is an XP/Lean/Agile Technical Software Coach to Fortune 100 companies during the week and an amateur chef during the weekends. When Wyatt is not at the cello or coaching software organizations or working on a construction project he can be found experimenting in his kitchen whipping up something yummy for family and friends.


Wyatt has a deep passion for excellence in music, in 2018 he founded Pierce Hill Performing Arts, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission of providing scholarships for young musicians to attend music camps who need financial support to help reach their potential.


Wyatt resides in Viroqua, with his wife, Monika, in a renewable energy-efficient home they built with their four children.

This is Wyatt's third season at Pierce Hill Performing Arts.


Wyatt performs on a Gennaro Gagliano cello,  Napoli, Italy, ca. 1760.