Ensemble for These Times logo

Projects

Jewish Music & Poetry Project
2016 Call for Scores: 56x54

Commissions

Premieres & commissioned works

History

Ensemble for These Times is a new music chamber group consisting of award-winning soprano Nanette McGuinness, Van Cliburn competitor pianist Dale Tsang, and 2015 The American Prize winner in Composition, David Garner, often joined by MUSA cellist Laura Gaynon or 2012 Voices of Music Young Artist Adaiha MacAdam-Somer.

The ensemble’s mission is to bring new, nearly new, forbidden, and forgotten music to light, focusing 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.

Ensemble for These Times was formed in 2007/2008 when soprano Nanette McGuinness encountered music by composer David Garner during recording sessions at Skywalker Ranch and quickly grew to include pianist Dale Tsang, often joined by cellists Adaiha MacAdam-Somer or Laura Gaynon. Recent highlights include a 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.

The ensemble has commissioned 15 new works and arrangements for premiere in the U.S. and Europe and is honored to have been a fiscally-sponsored affiliate of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music since 2011.

Formerly the Jewish Music & Poetry Project (JMPP), the ensemble rebranded in Fall 2015, with the JMPP continuing as a project of the group. The ensemble’s new name was inspired by one of E4TT’s first songs, “In dieser Zeit” (translation, “In These Times”), to a text by German/Polish poet Mascha Kaléko (1901-1976). Part of Garner’s first major work for the group, “In dieser Zeit” is on the ensemble’s 2016 CD, Surviving: Women’s Words, four major song cycles to texts by Jewish women poets, reflecting on their wartime experiences. Surviving: Women’s Words was made possible by grants from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and SFFCM’s Musical Grant Program. Since its first major commission using texts about the Holocaust by Polish-German/ Jewish poet Mascha Kaléko, the JMPP has focused on bringing new, nearly new, forbidden, and forgotten music to light, with a dual emphasis: 1) new music to texts by Jewish women poets or by women composers; 2) music by composers who were banned, exiled, or destroyed in the Holocaust. the group's repertory includes works by: 20th century composers Vitezslava Kapralova, Pavel Haas, Edwin Geist, Gyorgy Justus, Sandor Vandor, Lajos Delej, Erich Korngold, Hans Winterberg, Alexander Zemlinsky, Arnold Schoenberg and Paul Hindemith; and contemporary composers Melinda Wagner, Heather Schmidt, Gabriela Lena Frank, Elena Ruehr, Laura Schwendinger, Ruth Lomon, Osvaldo Golijov, John Bilotta, David Conte, James Primosch, Gordon Getty, John Adams, among others.

Members

Nanette McGuinness, soprano
Dale Tsang, piano
David Garner, composer

Press kit