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the inspiration

The 80th anniversary of Picasso'a "Guernica," and equally of the horrific historical event that inspired Picasso, the bombing of the Basque town of Gernika, is the focus of Ensemble for These Times' The "Guernica" Project. Picasso's iconic painting, "Guernica," encapsulates its time and ethos and still viscerally connects to today's viewers.

the project

E4TT put together a Guernica-themed call-and-response-style concert program, which was premiered in April, 2017, in SF, commissioning composer Jeffrey Hoover (professor of integrated arts at the University of Baltimore) to create a new piece inspired by the Picasso painting, which Hoover set as a 6-language (Basque, Spanish, German, Latin, Italian, and English) composition in 4 movements for soprano, violin, cello, and piano.

Read the project press release.

the premiere

The project's world premiere in San Francisco also featured historical images provided to the ensemble by the Museo de la Paz (Peace Museum Foundation) in Gernika-Lumo and traditional Basque dance by the Zazpiak Bat Dance Group from the Basque Cultural Center of SF. Composer Jeffrey Hoover gave a composer talk before the program began. E4TT's regular forces (soprano, cello, and piano) were supplemented by guest violinist, Dawn Harms in the U.S. and Alejandro Saiz Emeterio in Spain.
See the program booklet from the world premiere of The "Guernica" Project from April 8, 2017, in SF.

the music

Hoover’s “Guernica” is the centerpiece of The "Guernica" Project concert program. The other works featured in the project are:
  • Burning Giraffe (2010, West Coast premiere) for cello and piano, by Hoover. Listen to it
  • Alta mar (2005, U.S. premiere) for soprano and cello by Mario Carro. Listen to it
  • "Ha nacido el dolor" from La sed, (2011, U.S. premiere) for soprano and piano by Mercedes Zavala. Listen to it
  • Haikus for piano by Zavala
  • Death With Interruptions (2015) for violin, cello, and piano by Derek Bermel. Listen to it
  • Las almas y las memorias by David Garner
  • Picasso Ricercar (2017, world premiere) for solo piano by Garner, in 10/2017
  • "Albeniz" from Cinq Hommages for piano, by Garner
  • The touring version of The "Guernica" Project includes any or all of the above works.

    the legacy

    E4TT will record The "Guernica" Project in August 2018, for release on Centaur Records.

    the response

    The "Guernica" Project has captured the imagination of public and press alike:
  • An Ensemble Asks What Picasso's 'Guernica' Means in These Times (SFCV.com)
  • A War Atrocity Inspires Twice (Culture/The State of the Arts, KDFC.com)
  • Intriguing Alternatives in Early April (The Rehearsal Studio)
  • Guernica Commemoration (Noe Valley Voice, p. 18)
  • 'Guernica' Project Concert to Honor Bombing of Gernika (Euskal Kazeta)
  • Spain-USA Foundation


  • Watch the premiere videos

    1st half:
    2nd half: .