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Ensemble for These Times

Berkeley, CA            

who we are

Celebrating our Tenth Anniversary in 2017/18, Ensemble for These Times (E4TT) is a new music chamber group consisting of Van Cliburn competitor pianist Dale Tsang,  2015 winner of The American Prize in Composition, David Garner, award-winning soprano Nanette McGuinness, and cellist Anne Lerner-Wright.

E4TT performs 20th and 21st century music—particularly by women composers or with texts by women poets—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.

Over the past decade years, E4TT has commissioned over 20 works for premiere in the U.S. and Europe in mix-and-match combination of songs for soprano and piano, solo works for piano, works for cello plus piano, and the occasional work for soprano, cello, and piano, a wonderfully resonant combination.  We rebranded in  2015; our new name was inspired by one of E4TT’s first songs, “In dieser Zeit” (“In These Times”), to a poem by Mascha Kaléko, on the ensemble’s critically acclaimed 2016 debut CD, “Surviving: Women’s Words” (Centaur Recordings CRC3490), which won a Silver Medal in the Global Music Awards. The CD sets music to texts by Jewish women poets, reflecting on their wartime experiences and was made possible by grants from the SF Conservatory of Music and SFFCM’s Musical Grant Program.

what we’ve done

Formed in 2007/2008 when McGuinness encountered music by Garner during recording sessions at Skywalker Ranch, the Ensemble quickly grew to include pianist Dale Tsang. Co-produced by the Jewish Music Festival in Berkeley in 2011, the group made its international debut in 2012 at a concert produced by the Jüdische Gemeinde Berlin. In 2016 the ensemble toured to the Krakow Culture Festival in Poland and in 2014, the U.S. Embassy in Budapest sponsored the JMPP in a 4-city tour in Hungary as part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days. Most recently, E4TT toured their “Guernica Project” to Madrid, Spain, in October, 2017. The group has received 15 national and local grants, with Bay Area performances at the German Consulate General, SF Conservatory of Music, Old First Concerts, Noontime Concerts, Berkeley Public Library, and Trinity Concerts, among other venues. The ensemble has received grants from the Clorox Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation Community Arts Program, the Ross McKee Foundation, the East Bay Fund for Artists, the Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles, The SFKrakow Sister Cities Association, and CCI’s Quick Capacity Fund. Since 2011, E4TT has been fiscally sponsored by InterMusic SF (formerly SF Friends of Chamber Music).


where we’re going

In our 2017/18 tenth anniversary season, we will continue our series, 56×54, presenting 56 works by 54 composers, chosen from our first Call for Scores in 2016, plus we premiere our next commisioning program, “Once/Memory/Night: Paul Celan.”

From #2: it was a dream (2016) by Emma Logan (b. 1990)

World premiere performance by E4TT of “#2: it was a dream” from “Songs from the Book of Light (2016), by Emma Logan (b. 1990) commissioned by E4TT. Poetry by African-American Poet Laureate of the State of Maryland, Lucille Clifton (1936-2010).

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Mein blaues Klavier (My Blue Piano, 2015) by David Garner (b. 1954)

Please start at 9:27.
“Mein blaues Klavier” (My Blue Piano, 2015) by David Garner, Text by Else Lasker-Schueler. Commissioned by Ensemble for These Times (E4TT). ecorded live at the Faculty Artist Series concert, April 4, 2016 at the SF Conservatory of Music, with guest cellist Laura Gaynon. Sung in German

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Ballade (2000) by Sarah Kirkland Snyder (b. 1973)

Live performance by Ensemble for These Times on June 11, 2016 at Trinity Chamber Concerts, Berkeley, CA (Dale Tsang)

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