Ensemble for These Times

Biography Ensemble for These Times

Ensemble for These Times (E4TT)
is a new music chamber group consisting of award-winning soprano, co-director and co-founder Nanette McGuinness, Van Cliburn competitor pianist Dale Tsang, cellist Anne Lerner-Wright and 2015 The American Prize winner, composer, co-director and co-founder David Garner . In April 2017, violinists Dawn Harms and Alejandro Saiz Emeterio joined E4TT for The "Guernica" Project in SF and Madrid, respectively, with Ilana Blumberg Thomas, violin, Laura Reynolds, English horn, and Julie Michael, viola, performing with the ensemble as guests in the 2017/18 season.

Mission: Ensemble for These Times focuses on 20th and 21st century music that is relevant, engaging, original, and compelling, music that resonates today and will speak to tomorrow. E4TT strongly believes in the power of artistic beauty, intelligence, wit, lyricism, and irony to create a deep understanding of our times and the human condition.

History: The ensemble was formed in 2007/2008 when soprano Nanette McGuinness and David Garner met during recording sessions at Skywalker Ranch; it quickly grew to include pianist Dale Tsang and then cellist Anne Lerner-Wright. Recent performance highlights include a tour to Madrid, Spain, in Fall 2017 and at the 2016 Krakow Culture Festival in Poland. Past highlights include a four-city tour to Hungary in Fall 2014 as part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days and sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Budapest; the world premiere of Garner’s Chanson für Morgen in 2011 at Trinity Chamber Concerts, supported in part by a grant from the East Bay Fund for Artists and produced in association with the 26th Jewish Music Festival; the European premiere of Chanson für Morgen in Berlin in 2012, with the Jüdische Gemeinde Berlin, and concerts at the German Consulate General in SF, Old First Concerts, Peninsula JCC, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Trinity Chamber and Noontime Concerts, among others. Upcoming in spring 2016: debut CD release, “Surviving: Women’s Words,” on April 8 with Centaur Records (CRC 3490); premieres concert in Berkeley at Trinity Chamber Concerts on June 11, SF Conservatory of Music Faculty Artist Series on April 4; Noontime Concerts in SF on January 19 and May 31, and the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival in June 2016.

Call for Scores In E4TT's first Call for Scores in December 2015-January 2016, the group received 275 scores by 200 composers, choosing 56 by 54 composers for a multi-year performance series entitled 56x54 that runs from 2016-2019.

Recordings E4TT's debut CD, Surviving: Women’s Words, was released on the Centaur label in 2016 and won a Silver Medal in the 2016 Global Music Awards; two of the songs on the CD have also been nominated as finalists in the 2017 Global Peace Song Awards. Writing at Examiner.com, Stephen Smoliar called Mr. Garner’s settings of poetry by Jewish women Holocaust survivors “fascinating,” “passionate,” and “highly compelling;” Erin Heisel of American Record Guide also called it “fascinating,” and “compelling,” and Grego Applegate Edwards reviewed it (at Gapplegate Classical-Modern Review) as, “…extremely well done. Recommended.” Finally, Lesley Mitchell-Clarke wrote (The Whole Note) “Now more than ever, as the U.S. experiences a déjà vu of hatred and is poised on the brink of societal unravelling, the potent and timeless messages of survival, love, tolerance and forgiveness contained on this brilliant presentation need to resonate throughout the world.”

E4TT’s second CD, "The Hungarians: From Rozsa to Justus" will be released on Centaur Records on April 6, 2018 as a digital EP. The CD consists of music by three Hungarian and one Hungarian-American composers who were exiled or killed in the Holocaust: multiple-Oscar-recipient Miklós Rózsa (1907-1995), Sándor Vándor (1901-1945), Lajos Delej (1923-1945), and György Justus (1898-1945). Featuring duos for cello and piano by Rozsa and Vandor--plus a Scherzo from a missing cello sonata attributed to Delej--songs by Vandor and Justus for soprano and piano, and the premiere recording of a recently rediscovered set of piano miniatures by Delej, the CD is the result of the group’s successful four-city concert tour in Hungary in 2014, which was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Budapest. E4TT will be recording their third CD, of The "Guernica" Project in August 2018.

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