Group: Time for Three

The groundbreaking, category-shattering trio Time for Three transcends traditional classification, with elements of classical, country western, gypsy and jazz idioms forming a blend all its own. The members -- Zachary (Zach) De Pue, violin; Nicolas (Nick) Kendall, violin; and Ranaan Meyer, double bass -- carry a passion for improvisation, composing and arranging, all prime elements of the ensemble’s playing.

What started as a trio of musicians who played together for fun while students at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute for Music evolved into Time for Three, or Tf3 for short -- a charismatic ensemble with a reputation for limitless enthusiasm and no musical boundaries. Violinists Zachary De Pue and Nicolas Kendall first discovered their mutual love of fiddling in the country western and bluegrass styles. Then bassist Ranaan Meyer introduced them to his deep roots in jazz and improvisation. After considerable experimentation, the three officially formed Tf3. The ensemble gained instant attention in July 2003, during a lightning-induced power failure at Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts. While technicians attempted to restore onstage lighting, Ranaan and Zach, who were both performing as members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, obliged with an impromptu jam session that included works as far afield from the originally scheduled symphony as “Jerusalem’s Ridge,” “Ragtime Annie,” and “The Orange Blossom Special.” The crowd went wild.

To date, the group has performed more than two hundred engagements as diverse as its music: from featured guest soloists with The Philadelphia Orchestra to opening for k.d. lang at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center.

Tf3 sets itself apart not only with its varied repertoire performed with astonishing technical acuity, but also through its approach. Its high-energy performances are free of conventional practices, drawing instead from the members’ differing musical backgrounds. The trio also performs its own arrangements of traditional repertoire and Ranaan Meyer provides original compositions to complement the trio’s offerings.

Tf3 has performed on many of the nation’s important stages, including the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the 92nd Street Y in New York, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The group recorded the soundtrack to the History Channel's production, The Spanish-American War, and will soon release its third CD, Three Fervent Travelers. Their first recording, titled Time for Three, was released in October 2002, followed by a second CD released in January 2006, We just burned this for you!

The ensemble has begun a major commissioning program to expand its unique repertoire for both symphony orchestras and concert series. One of these projects involves a new work being written by celebrated composer Jennifer Higdon, to be premiered in six performances by Tf3 with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach in January 2008.

Other highlights of Tf3’s recent past seasons include the Beethoven Society in Washington, D.C.; Cerritos Center in Los Angeles; Joanne Woodward’s Westport Playhouse; the Philadelphia Folk Festival; Wyoming’s Grand Teton Music Festival; and Chicago’s “Music in the Loft” series. This past season (which included more than 100 engagements), the trio performed with the Cleveland Pops in Severance Hall; the San Francisco Symphony; at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center; in a two-week residency at the University of Michigan; a New Year’s Eve concert with the Indianapolis Symphony; in Memphis with the IRIS Chamber Orchestra; in three cities in Florida with the Sunshine Pops; with the New World Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas; and with the Philly Pops and Peter Nero.

In addition to its demanding performing schedule, the trio is committed to reaching younger audiences and has participated in a number of educational residencies and outreach concerts including Paul Newman’s Hole In The Wall Gang Camp (involving Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Baldwin, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Joanne Woodward; Tf3 will return to the Camp this summer); The Fox Channel’s “Good Morning Philadelphia” telecast from the Kimmel Center; the Liberty Awards Ceremony honoring Colin Powell; and the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s morning debate banquet for gubernatorial candidates Edward Rendell and Mike Fisher. Tf3 was also featured in the Pennsylvania Society’s televised annual gala from New York’s Waldorf-Astoria.

Time for Three has been seen and heard frequently on various television and radio broadcasts throughout the country, including numerous times on Public Television and NPR, and was featured in a documentary film about Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square directed by Robert Downey, Sr.

Zach De Pue comes from a musical family: in addition to the De Pue Brothers, his father is a composer and professor emeritus of music composition at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Born in Bowling Green, Zach graduated in 2002 from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with renowned violinists Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo. He was the recipient of a merit-based full-tuition scholarship and held the Institute’s David H. Springman Memorial Fellowship.

Prior to entering Curtis, Mr. De Pue attended the Cleveland Institute of Music. He made his solo debut with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and performed as soloist with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra in 1995. Mr. De Pue has performed at the Isaac Stern Music Workshop; the Angel Fire, La Jolla and Sarasota music festivals; and at the Chautauqua Institution and Interlochen Arts Academy. In September 2007, he was appointed Concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Nick Kendall studied at the Curtis Institute with the internationally renowned violinist Victor Danchenko. He maintains a strong interest in other musical instruments and genres and is an enthusiastic teacher who utilizes elements from both classical and non-traditional repertoires in his popular workshops.

Recent highlights of his career include performances with Israel’s Jerusalem Symphony under conductor James Judd; an acclaimed Philadelphia recital debut under the auspices of Astral Artistic Services; a quartet performance at Carnegie Hall; performances as a member of the Astral Trio at both the Los Angeles Chamber Music Festival and at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall; and a guest artist appearance on tour with the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra. Nick debuted with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra as the winner of their Young Artists competitions. He has since performed in the concert halls of Anchorage, Chapel Hill, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Louisville, San Francisco and Tokyo. In addition to his extensive recording and performance activities as a member of Tf3, Nick is also a member of both the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and the Dryden String Quartet.

Ranaan Meyer began his musical studies at the piano at age four and, when he was big enough to hold it, took up the double bass at 11. He attended the Manhattan School of Music and graduated from Curtis in 2003. Beyond regular appearances with ensembles such as the Minnesota Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony and The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Meyer is increasingly in demand as a composer, creating unique new works for Tf3 as well as for other ensembles and for solo bass. Most recently, Ranaan completed a commission, “My Zayda” (for violin, piano and double bass), for the Kingston Chamber Music Festival in Rhode Island. Other recently completed commissions include a solo double bass piece for Network for New Music, a double bass and harp duet, a set of pieces for Astral Artistic Services, and a Tf3 composition for the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Symphony, “Of Time and Three Rivers.” All commissions have been expedited through the American Composers Forum.

Ranaan is also an accomplished jazz musician who has performed with Jane Monheight, Victor Lewis, Jason Moran, Mark O’Connor, Ari Hoenig, Duane Eubanks, Mickey Roker and many others. At age 19, Ranaan produced, directed and performed in the very first Washington Township Jazz Festival that was also broadcast live on Philadelphia’s WRTI. An avid teacher, Ranaan has held adjunct Double Bass professorships at both Princeton University and the University of Delaware. He spent several summers teaching alongside Hal Robinson, Principal Bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra, at the Strings International Music Festival in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He has also taught at the Intermountain Suzuki Camp in Sandy, Utah, and at Mark O’Connor’s String Camp in San Diego, California.

Ranaan is the founder of a new program called Project Interactive (PI), whose purpose is to culturally connect communities’ artistic possibilities. He is also committed to expanding the double bass repertoire and will compose eight new works for the instrument by May 2008. In the summer of 2008, he will launch a double bass camp along with Eric Larson (of the Houston Symphony) and Hal Robinson.