From Eighth Blackbird: “Performance of the Year”

From Eighth Blackbird

Australian Music Centre

Eighth Blackbird by Interlochen Public Radio

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Time for the final Award for 2018: Performance of the Year. It goes all the way to Chicago, to Eighth Blackbird, for their performance of Holly Harrison’s ‘Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup’. The group toured Australia for Musica Viva Australia last year with Harrison’s work in the program. #artmusicawards

See the full article here .

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Nathalie Joachim, flutes • Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets • Yvonne Lam, violin & viola •
Nick Photinos, cello • Matthew Duvall, percussion • Lisa Kaplan, piano

Eighth Blackbird is “one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet” (Chicago Tribune). Launched by six entrepreneurial Oberlin Conservatory undergraduates in 1996, this Chicago-based super-group has earned its status as “a brand-name…defined by adventure, vibrancy and quality….known for performing from memory, employing choreography and collaborations with theater artists, lighting designers and even puppetry artists” (Detroit Free Press).

Eighth Blackbird’s mission—moving music forward through innovative performance, advocating for new music by living composers, and creating a legacy of guiding an emerging generation of musicians —extends beyond recording and touring to curation and education. The ensemble served as Music Director of the 2009 Ojai Music Festival, has held residencies at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the University of Chicago, and holds an ongoing Ensemble-in-Residence position at the University of Richmond. The 2015-16 season featured a pioneering residency at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art: a living installation with open rehearsals, performances, guest artists, and public talks. In 2017, Eighth Blackbird launched its boldest initiative yet with the creation of Blackbird Creative Laboratory, a tuition-free, two-week summer workshop and performance festival for performers and composers in Ojai, CA.

Eighth Blackbird’s members hail from the Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden, Empire and Bay states. The name “Eighth Blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, imagistic poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: “I know noble accents / And lucid, inescapable rhythms; / But I know, too, / That the blackbird is involved / In what I know.”

John Schaefer


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