E4TT will kick off the season on September 22 at Old First Concerts in San Francisco with "Transformations," a concert about various kinds of transformation--physical, biological, emotional, environmental, and musical. The highlight of the program will be Verklärte Nacht ("Transfigured Night"), Op. 4 (1899) by Arnold Schoenberg, arranged for piano trio by Eduard Steuermann and inspired by the eponymous poem in which a couple's love is transformed by compassion. It will be placed in a musical dialogue with three contemporary chamber works: "The Dragon and the Girl" (2014) for cello by Guggenheim Fellow Lisa Bielawa (b. 1968); "Fluid" (2016) for violin and tape by exciting emerging composer Darian Donovan Thomas; and "a bridge between starshine and clay" (2018) for piano by ASCAP Foundation Fred Ho Award winner inti figgis-vizueta (b. 1993); plus songs by Austrian composer Franz Schreker from his Acht Lieder Op. 8 (1898-1900). Guests violinist Jennifer Redondas and cellist Megan Chartier will join E4TT soprano Nanette McGuinness and pianist Margaret Halbig. The concert will also be livestreamed on Old First Concerts' YouTube channel, and there will be a noontime preview performance of selections in September at Café Europa, JCC East Bay in Berkeley.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
E4TT pianist MARGARET HALBIG is in high demand as a collaborative artist in both the instrumental and vocal fields. She is currently associate chair of the Voice Department and principal vocal coach at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she also frequently collaborates with faculty and student singers and instrumentalists. In 2023, Halbig was appointed Collaborative Piano Coordinator of Interlochen Arts Camp and has been the pianist for Young Women's Chorus of San Francisco since 2014. An advocate of new and contemporary music, she is the pianist and a board member of San Francisco-based new music collective Ninth Planet. Halbig earned her DMA from the University of California Santa Barbara and performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, and University of Evansville, Indiana.
Cellist MEGAN CHARTIER is "unafraid to display gutsy abandon," as described by the South Florida Classical Review. She has performed throughout North America and Europe as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral cellist. Her current positions include core cellist of the Astralis Chamber Ensemble and principal cellist of Opera San Luis Obispo in California. In recent seasons, she has served as principal cellist of the Miami Symphony Orchestra and principal cellist of the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy in Vancouver, and also recently performed with orchestras including the San Antonio Symphony, One Found Sound in San Francisco, Nu Deco Ensemble, and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. A Semi-Finalist in the 2017 PRISMA Concerto Competition, she won 1st prize in the Ann Arbor Society of Musical Arts' 2015 Young Artist Competition and the 2015 Miami Music Festival Concerto Competition, conducted by Grzegorz Nowak of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. https://www.meganchartier.com
Soprano and E4TT co-founder and Artistic Executive Director NANETTE MCGUINNESS has performed in 13 languages on two continents in over 25 roles with the Silesian State (Czech Republic), Opera San Jose (Opera in the Schools), and West Bay Opera, Pacific Repertory Opera, Trinity Lyric Opera, and Livermore Valley Opera, among others. Solo concert engagements include Mahler's Fourth Symphony, as well as Shéhérézade (Ravel), Nuits d'étés (Berlioz), Stabat Mater (Rossini), Requiem (Fauré), Gloria (Vivaldi), Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn), Vesperae Solennes (Mozart), and Handel's Messiah and Solomon. McGuinness has been featured on seven albums with Centaur and Yuggoth Records, and her CD of music by 19th and 20th century women composers, Fabulous Femmes (Centaur)--was called "perfect for the song recital lover" by Chamber Music Magazine. She earned her PhD in Music (specializing in Musicology) at UC Berkeley, MM in Vocal Performance from Holy Names College, and BA in Music from Cornell University. https://www.nanette.biz
Originally from Cuba, violinist/violist JENNIFER REDONDAS has performed as a soloist in the U.S., Netherlands, Italy, Austria, France and Cuba in venues that include the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Mozarteum in Austria. As a historical violinist and violist, she has participated in the Oregon Bach Festival and Berwick Academy under the direction of Jos van Veldhoven. Her passion for Cuban music and jazz has led her to perform at SF Jazz with renowned artists such as Chris Potter, Anat Cohen and Chucho Valdés. An active member of the "Adventures in Music" program at the San Francisco Symphony, Redondas was a Fellow for the Classical Tahoe Orchestra 2023 season. She holds a Master's Degree in Violin Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
ABOUT ENSEMBLE FOR THESE TIMES
Winner of The American Prize in 2021 for Chamber Music Performance, ENSEMBLE FOR THESE TIMES (E4TT) consists of award-winning soprano/ Artistic Executive Director Nanette McGuinness, cellist Abigail Monroe, pianist Margaret Halbig, and co-founder/ Senior Artistic Advisor composer David Garner. E4TT made its international debut in Berlin in 2012; was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Budapest for a four-city tour of Hungary in 2014; and performed at the Krakow Culture Festival in 2016 and 2022, and at the Conservatorio Teresa Berganza in Madrid in 2017. E4TT has performed locally at the German Consulate General, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Old First Concerts, JCC Peninsula, Trinity Chamber Concerts, and Noontime Concerts, among other venues. E4TT has released four albums, all of which have medaled in the Global Music Awards: "The Guernica Project" (2022), commemorating the 85th anniversary of the horrific carpet bombing of civilians and Picasso's masterwork in response; "Once/Memory/Night: Paul Celan" (2020), honoring the centennial of the seminal 20th century poet; "The Hungarians: From Rózsa to Justus" (2018), with works by Hungarian émigré Miklós Rózsa, and three of his compatriots who perished in the Holocaust; and "Surviving: Women's Words," (2016), new music to poetry by women Holocaust survivors.