A week ago Ensemble for These Times (E4TT) released its plans for the coming season. All four of last season’s programs were live-streamed through YouTube. However, with the return of “in-person” audiences, E4TT has planned a five-concert series that will continue to provide live-streaming but will also admit “physical” audiences. The “core” E4TT ensemble is a trio led by soprano Nanette McGuinness. Last season the pianist was Season Guest Margaret Halbig; and, when she returns for the coming season, she will no longer be a “guest.” On the other hand cellist Anne Lerner-Wright has left the group and will be replaced by Abigail Monroe. Guest performers, however, will include violinist Ilona Blumberg, percussionist Mika Nakamura, bassist Yuchen Liu, and pianist Tin Yi Chelsea Wong.
Five programs have been planned for the coming (fourteenth) season. As of this writing, a venue has been arranged for each of them, as well as a hyperlink for live-streaming to YouTube. Each event has its own Web page, which will provide the necessary hyperlink for its respective live-stream. Any information about performing in the presence of an audience will be provided at a later date. Plans for each of the programs, along with the hyperlink to its Web page, are as follows:
Friday, October 15, 8 p.m., Alchemy: This is the concert that has already been announced on the October schedule for Old First Concerts. The theme involves the relations between identity and transformation. The program will feature two world premieres:
- The Unseen, a song cycle by Bay Area composer Brennan Stokes, setting poems by Sara Teasdale, which will be sung by coloratura soprano Chelsea Hollow
- “Cello Solo by Abby” by Mary Bianco to be performed by Monroe
The program will also include “Etudinal Caprice,” a solo piano composition by Darian Donovan Thomas, given its world premiere in 2013. Other works on the program will present transformations through the “voices” of underrepresented composers.
Saturday, November 13, 7:30 p.m., Piano Recital: The Center for New Music (C4NM) will host a solo piano recital by Wong. The program will contrast three renowned composers from the twentieth century (György Ligeti, Henri Dutilleux, and Grażyna Bacewicz) with three currently active composers (Gabriela Lena Frank, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Zosha Di Castri, and Viet Cuong). The above hyperlink provides information for both physical and virtual attendance.
Saturday, January 29, 7:30 p.m., Below the Surface: Music by Women Composers: The “core trio” of E4TT will be joined by Blumberg on violin. The title of the program is also the title of a song cycle by Emily Doolittle, whose world premiere was delayed due to COVID. Commissioned by E4TT, Scotland-based Doolittle set texts by Bay Area poets Rachel Richardson and Rella Lossy. The other women composers on the program will be Eleanor Alberga, Du Yun, Elena Ruehr, Gabriela Ortiz, Angélica Negrón, and four alumnae of the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy of Music: Akshaya Avril Tucker, Jungyoon Wie, Seo Yoon Kim, and Manjing Zhang. Again, physical and virtual attendance will be managed through the above hyperlink.
Saturday, April 9, 7:30 p.m., Dark Universe/Mysterious Spaces: This will be a performance given in collaboration with the Technical and Applied Composition Department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The program will be the 2022 commissions concert, with commissions inspired by both outer and terrestrial space. The performance will take place in the new Jewel Box Recital Hall, located in the SFCM Bowes Center at 200 Van Ness Avenue. There will be no charge for admission or for YouTube viewing. However, in both cases, an RSVP is recommended. The above hyperlink enables registration through an Eventbrite Web page.
Saturday, June 18, 7:30 p.m., Émigrés & Exiles in Hollywood: Encore!: This will revisit both composers and content from last season’s Émigrés & Exiles in Hollywood program. Once again the performance will be by the E4TT “core” trio. The performance will again take place at the Berkeley Piano Club, but it will also be live-streamed on YouTube. The above hyperlink again enables registration through an Eventbrite Web page.