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music that resonates today and speaks to tomorrow



Awards

E4TT was awarded Second Place for Chamber Music Performance, Professional Division in 2019 for The American Prize and was a Finalist for the 2019 ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the Performance of American Music.

E4TT's second release, "The Hungarians: From Rózsa to Justus" (Centaur CRC 3660), won a Gold Medal in the 2018 Global Music Awards and is available for streaming or downloading at iTunes, Google PlayMusic or Amazon.com. It consists of music by four Hungarian composers killed or exiled in the Holocaust, Miklos Rozsa, Sandor Vandor, Lajos Delej, and Gyorgy Justus, and is part of the group's Jewish Music & Poetry Project. Download the booklet here.

E4TT's debut CD, "Surviving: Women's Words" (Centaur CRC 3490), won a Silver Medal in the 2016 Global Music Awards and is available at Amazon,HB Direct, or Arkiv Music or or directly from E4TT. It consists of four song cycles written for E4TT for soprano and piano and soprano, cello, and piano by David Garner to poems by Mascha Kaleko, Rose Auslaender, Else Lasker-Schueler and Yala Korwin and is part of the group's Jewish Music & Poetry Project.


Accolades

"Once/Memory/Night: Paul Celan" was chosen July 16, 2020 for C4NM's Album of the Week.


Articles

About "Dreams of Distant Galas" online virtual CD Release Party
"A Timely Musical Celebration of One of the Great Poets of the Holocaust" (New York Music Daily)
"E4TT to Live Stream CD Release Party" (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio)

About "Blooming Flowers: Music by Women Composers" online on C4NM's Encore Concerts
"Recommended: Music We Think You Should Listen to " (Michael Zwiebach, SFCV.org)

About #ConcertHallatHome
"In the Season of the Virus, the Online Concert Comes of Age" (Peter Feher, SFCV.org)

About "Mothers & Daughters"
"Choices for March 6-8, 2020" (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio)

About "Blooming Flowers: Music by Women Composers"
"Center for New Music: January 2020" (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio)

About E4TT at SF Music Day
"SF Music Day Incubates Fresh Artistry and Ideas" (Jeff Kaliss, SFCV.org)
"SF Music Day is an eclectic free-for-all -- it's all free" (Joshua Kosman, SF Chronicle)
Amazing SF Music Day is a huge smorgasbord -- and the feasting is free" (Georgia Rowe, The Mercury News)

About "The Film Noir Project"
"E4TT Commissions Inspired By Classic Film Genre" (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio)

About "Emigres & Exiles in Hollywood"
"Ensemble showcases Jewish composers' impact on Hollywood music" (Brooke Cusick, Daily Bruin)
"What's Happening: Ensemble for These Times"(Ryan Torok, Jewish Times)
"Hollywood Exiles" (Jesse Hamlin, SF Chronicle)
"Choices for October 19-21, 2018"(Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio)

About "Once/Memory/Night: Paul Celan"
"Celan for these times" (Jesse Hamlin, SF Chronicle)
"Choices for April 15, 2018" (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio)
E4TT Concert Feat: Czeslaw Milosz & Aleksandra Kaca", (Polish Music Center Newsletter)

About "The Hungarians: From Rozsa to Justus"
Shameless Promotion of Local Artists: Bay Area Recordings in 2018" (Paul Kotapish, SFCV.org)

About 56x54: E4TT's First Call for Scores
"Choices for January 26, 2019, and Beyond" (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio)
Joshua Kosman's Classical Music Picks (Joshua Kosman, SF Chronicle)
From the SF/Arts Curator (Jesse Hamlin, SF/Arts)
Think you know the cello? This SF concert might change all that (Georgia Rowe, The Mercury News)
E4TT to Conclude Tenth Season at O1C (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio)
"Ensemble Champions New Music from Around the World" (Joshua Kosman, SFGate.com)
"June Will Begin With a Very Busy Sunday" (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio)
"New Music Bonanza: 56x54 #1"(Janos Gereben, SFCV.org)
(Find out about the composers chosen from our 2016 CALL FOR SCORES.)

About the "Guernica" Project
"An Ensemble Asks What Picasso's "Guernica" Means in These Times" (Mark MacNamara, SFCV.org)
"Intriguing Alternatives in Early April" (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio)
"Guernica Commemoration" (Jeff Kaliss, Noe Valley Voice, p. 8)
"Guernica" Project Concert to Honor Bombing of Gernika" (Nancy Zubiri, Euskal Kazeta Basque News)
Weekend Plans? We've Got Some Ideas (March 30 Edition)(Georgia Rowe, East Bay Times)
"The world premiere of Ensemble for These Times (E4TT)’s 'The Guernica Project' celebrates the 80th anniversary of Picasso’s 'Guernica' with music by Zavala & Carro and Hoover & Bermel" (Spain-USA Foundation Concert Listing)
"U.S. premiere of "Picasso Ricercar" Will Be at the Berkeley Piano Club" (Jesse Hamlin, SF Chronicle)
From the SF/Arts Curator (Betsy Crabtree, SF/Arts)

About "International/Modern" and International Holocaust Remembrance Day Concert
E4TT will Preview an International Holocaust Remembrance Day Program at Noontime Concerts (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio)
"In Music We Trust: Presidio Sessions Opens a Cool New Year" (Mark MacNamara, SFCV.org)
Ensemble for These Times: International Holocaust Rememberance Day (Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest San Francisco Concert Listing)

About the Jewish Music & Poetry Project
"Holocaust Remembrance with Works by Korngold and Waxman" (Janos Gereben, SFCV.org)
"Group Revives Works of Those Who Perished in the Holocaust" (Dan Pine, J.The Jewish News of Northern California)
Jewish Music & Poetry Project Premieres Latest Commissions" (German Consulate General, SF, Concert listing)

Radio Interviews

E4TT's Nanette McGuinness interviewed on KALW's "Open Air" about "Once/Memory/Night: Paul Celan" (David Latulippe, Open Air, KALW.org)
E4TT musicians and composers interviewed on KALW's "Open Air" on April 5, 2018 (go to 30:25)(David Latiluppe, Open Air, KALW.org)
Nanette McGuinness interviewed by David Osenberg on Cadenza at WWFM.org (David Osenberg, Cadenza, WWFM.org)
A War Atrocity Inspires Twice (Jeffrey Freymann, Culture/The State of the Arts, KDFC.org)

Reviews

Recording Reviews

"Once/Memory/Night: Paul Celan"
"Taken as a whole, this is an ambitious undertaking...One might even conjecture that [pianist] Zhao had acquainted herself with the texts of both Celan and Milosz while preparing her approach to Larsen’s suite. Similarly, the two interludes that Garner composed for Die eichne Tür tend to resonate with the expressive rhetoric of the Celan poems set in the other five movements." (Stephen Smoliar at The Rehearsal Studio)

"Only those with heads buried deep in the nuclear sand may fail to understand why music rooted in the Holocaust speaks so clearly to our present-day realities. On their third recording, Once/Memory/Night: Paul Celan, Bay Area chamber group Ensemble for These Times (E4TT) proves the relevancy of their name by recording three commissions that set the deeply unsettling poetry of Holocaust survivor Paul Celan (1920–1970) and his contemporary, Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Miłosz (1911–2004).
Somewhat deceptively, the recording begins with Libby Larsen’s mostly upbeat, 10-minute 4½: A Piano Suite (2016). Fetchingly performed by E4TT guest pianist Xin Zhao, its five movements are easily accessible, rhythmically engaging, extremely beautiful, refined in places, and ultimately playful. Save for the short fourth movement, In Memoriam, they soften you up for the seven movements of composer and E4TT co-founder David Garner’s Die eichne Tür (The oaken door, 2017) that follow. Performed by soprano and E4TT co-founder Nanette McGuinness, guest English hornist Laura Reynolds, violinist Ilana Blumberg, cellist Anne Lerner, and Xin Zhao, Garner’s Die eichne Tür includes settings of five deeply personal poems by Celan that, in English translation, are anything but an easy ride... [T]he two songs that comprise composer Jared Redmond’s Nachtlang (Nightlong, 2017) are especially effective because words and music are so closely aligned. The chilling essence of the first song, “Notturno” (Nocturne), is rendered all the more effective by McGuinness’s skillful deployment of her low range.
The recording ends with a double gift. Anthony Miłosz, who translated his father’s poem, “A Song at the End of the World” (1944) into English, brings an air of authenticity to the presentation by reciting the words. Then, McGuinness sings Stephen Eddins’s eponymous six-plus-minute setting from 2018, with accompaniment by Lerner and Xin Zhao. This is far more accessible poetry and music, with nothing hidden, and the music is as direct as it is moving." (Jason Victor Serinus at SFCV.org)

"The Hungarians: From Rozsa to Justus"
"Lerner-Wright and Tsang knew how to tap into the rhetorical side of Rósza’s Opus 8 duo, making it clear that there was more to the music than the composer’s skill in reflecting Hungarian idioms." (Stephen Smoliar at The Rehearsal Studio)

"Surviving: Women's Words"
"With the release of this deeply moving and well-conceived project, the San Francisco-based Ensemble for These Times (E4TT) has put forth a superb and relevant spoken word and musical recording...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." (Lesley Mitchell-Clarke at The Whole Note)

"...four passionate meditations on the Holocaust experience delivered through a unique and highly compelling pair of voices, those of both composer and singer." (Stephen Smoliar at Examiner.com)

"fascinating...Garner’s music is difficult but compelling, varied and harmonically interesting… [McGuinness] manages the vocal and musical challenges well." (Erin Heisel at American Record Guide)

"The heartrending words put both darkness and hope in a poetic light. Garner's music brings out the moods and is extremely well done. Recommended." (Grego Applegate Edwards at Classical-Modern Music Review)

"Garner’s settings are effective, particularly in the longest work here, Chanson für Morgen (2012) to words by Mascha Kaléko (1907-1975)... The pieces’ effectiveness lies in the way they speak of the destruction of Judaism and Jewish culture in Eastern Europe while making the loss of history and of a sense of belonging into a wider experience, not one unique to Jews or to a specific time period." (Mark Estren, TransCentury Communications review)

"The San Francisco composer David Garner has set four female Jewish poets, of whom the most gripping is the exotic Berliner Elsa Lasker-Schüler, represented here by her Blue Piano cycle." (Norman Lebrecht at Lebrecht Weekly)

Concert Reviews

"The compositions ...[in the Film Noir Project] felt appropriate in style, often highlighting the vast range of the cello. There were deep and mysterious rumblings from the low register, performed with appropriately harsh staccato attacks or jazzy pizzicato. This contrasted nicely with harmonics and eerie themes in the upper register, and the melancholy mid-range of a soprano voice, in German dialect evocative of the dark songspiel of Weill or Berg....To close the program, Lerner-Wright and Tsang presented a cello and piano duo titled Waltz Noir, by the young Russian composer Polina Nazaykinskaya. This accompanied Emma Kazaryan’s varying and overlapping film footage...[and] was well chosen as the closing number." (Alex Rosenfeld, SFCV.org, April 9, 2019)

"E4TT’s soprano Nanette McGuinness effectively channeled this nervous energy [in Derek Jenkins' "Fruehlingsglaube" from "Nach Raum und Zeit"], and guest pianist Taylor Chan beautifully shaped the late-Romantic harmonies... Dan Senn’s song “The Never Close”... [and “Paper Money” by Scott Etan Feiner], among several others on the program, were performed with conviction by Chan and guest soprano Chelsea Hollow... In his Missed Connections, Sam Krahn sets texts from Craiglist’s Casual Encounters section (R.I.P.). You can’t make this stuff up, and Krahn’s music, full of tongue-in-cheek references, would be perfect for a cabaret. I’d go to that show." (Rebecca Wishnia, SFCV.org, January 29, 2019)

"Lerner-Wright is definitely an impressive cellist. She was clearly up to the full scope of challenges of all of the works on the program; and she could “play well with others” as effectively as she could present her solo work. She even knew how to maintain audience attention with informative comments while retuning her instrument." (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio, June 30, 2018)

"Soprano Nanette McGuinness (accompanied by Dale Tsang on piano and Laura Gaynon on cello) deftly negotiated Garner’s convolutions.” (Stephen Smoliar, Examiner.com, April 5, 2016)

"The high point of the program was definitely the Mendelssohn. Both Macadam-Somer and Tsang-Hall went at it with all the spirited energy it demands." (Stephen Smoliar, Examiner.com, Sept. 10, 2013)

“All four poems in the set [of Phoenix] have a decidedly dark quality. Garner served this quality well...and McGuinness captured that effectively in her delivery of the texts.” (Stephen Smoliar, Examiner.com, April 23, 2013)

"Tsang-Hall flawlessly delivered the catchy, syncopated rhythms of Labyrinth (1991), the darting little figures and wonderful bursts of high treble light in Traveling Light (1991), and the surfeit of energy in the delicious Dodecahedron (1993, 2012).... Also on the program were Gabriela Lena Frank’s lovely Barcarola latinoamericana (2007), whose repeated notes, redolent of the mandolin, Tsang-Hall captured beautifully. The pungent chromaticism of Laura Schwendinger’s Pedal Point (1996) and engaging forward momentum of Elena Ruehr’s Prelude III (2002) flowed easily through her hands." (Jason Victor Serinus, SFCV.org, April 2, 2013)