Kirkland Performance Center presents...

eighth blackbird

  • Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 7:30PM

All Seats: $40


CLASSICAL > Modern Compositions, Experimental

Artist Sponsors: Dodi & Richard Briscoe

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eighth blackbird \ˈātth ˈblak-ˌbərd\ slang (orig. and chiefly U.S.).

1. verb. to act with commitment and virtuosity; to zap, zip, sock.

2. adjective. having fearless (yet irreverent) qualities.

3. noun. a flock of songbirds, common in urban areas since 1996.

eighth blackbird lives dangerously. The Chicago-based, two-time GRAMMY Award-winning sextet combines the finesse of a string quartet with the energy of a rock band and the audacity of a storefront theater company. Its musical aerobatics delight, provoke and entertain audiences around the world.

eighth blackbirds' program for KPC:

In addition to Double Sextet, the 2009 Pulitzer prize winning piece written by Steve Reich, commissioned by eighth blackbird, wherein the ensemble will play the 12 instrument work by performing live playing 6 parts against a recording of them playing the other 6 parts, the sextet will perform works by: 

Derek Bermel: Tied Shifts (2003) • Philip Glass: Einstein on the Beach: Knee Play 2 (1975) • Tom Johnson: Counting Duets • Gyorgy Ligeti: Etudes (1985/arr. 2012) • Andy Akiho: Erase (2012). 


Artist Bio

eighth blackbird is a contemporary music sextet based in Chicago. The group derives its name from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens' poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. The name is deliberately spelled in lower case.

The members of eighth blackbird hold degrees in music performance from Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Juilliard School, Northwestern University, and the Curtis Institute of Music. Current players in the group include Yvonne Lam, violin/viola; Nicholas Photinos, cello; Tim Munro, flutes; Michael Maccaferri, clarinets; Lisa Kaplan, piano; and Matthew Duvall, percussion. Four of the group's six members are founding members; Munro replaced the ensemble's original flautist, Molly Barth, in 2006, and Lam replaced violinist and violist Matt Albert in 2011.

eighth blackbird holds Ensemble-in-Residence positions at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia (since 2003) and The University of Chicago (since 2000). Additionally, the group has led short-term residencies at the Curtis Institute, Colburn School, University of Michigan, Oberlin College, Southern Methodist University, and Rice University. In the fall of 2012 the group will begin a three year residency at the Curtis Institute of Music. An ongoing relationship with Chicago's Cedille Records has produced five recordings, including strange imaginary animals (2006), winner of two 2008 Grammy Awards, including the award for Best Chamber Music Performance. eighth blackbird's most recent CD, which was released in September 2011, is entitled Lonely Motel: Music from Slide, and features excerpts from the 2009 music and theater work Slide, a collaboration between eighth blackbird, composer Steve Mackey, and singer, actor, and librettist Rinde Eckert.

Since its founding in 1996, eighth blackbird has been active in commissioning new works from composers such as Steve Reich, George Perle, Frederic Rzewski, Joseph Schwantner, Paul Moravec, and Stephen Hartke, as well as works from Jennifer Higdon, Derek Bermel, Nico Muhly, Daniel Kellogg, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, and the Minimum Security Composers Collective. The group received the first BMI/Boudleaux-Bryant Fund Commission and the 2007 American Music Center Trailblazer Award and has received grants from BMI, Meet the Composer, the Greenwall Foundation, and Chamber Music America.

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