From Eighth Blackbird: “Next stops, Missouri, Virginia and Oregon”

From Eighth Blackbird

Eighth Blackbird with Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Soirée Cedille. Photo by Elliot Mandel.

As you can see from the photo above, Eighth Blackbird is all smiles here in Chicago-land. It was an incredible honor to meet and perform in front of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month, as we celebrated Cedille Records at the annual Soirée Cedille. Among the projects funded that evening? Our next Cedille release, composition as explanation, a new evening-length work by David Lang featuring text by Gertrude Stein and commissioned by The Arts Club of Chicago on the occasion of its centennial. Thank you to everyone who donated, and to Cedille for continuing to help Chicago artists thrive!

Next month, we pack our bags and hit the road. Read on to see when and where you can catch us performing live. First stops: Missouri, Virginia and Oregon! And don’t worry: our violinist, Yvonne Lam, though not pictured here, will be back from maternity leave any day now to head out on tour with us. Hopefully she’s not too mad that we met the Notorious RBG without her…!

Olagón at Open Spaces Kansas City
October 17, 7:30pm | The Folly Theater

We’re remounting last season’s centerpiece “Olagón: A Cantata in Doublespeak” on October 17 for the inaugural Open Spaces Kansas City at the The Folly Theater. Featuring Irish sean nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird and composer/fiddler Dan Trueman with text by Paul Muldoon, in an evening-length re-imagination of the legendary Irish tale “Táin Bó Cúailnge” directed by Mark DeChiazza. Save the date, and get your tickets today!

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Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival
November 2-3 | University of Richmond

We’ll kick off our education residencies for the season by returning to the University of Richmond, where we have an ongoing ensemble-in-residence position. In addition to coachings, lessons and classes with the students, we’ll perform as part of the Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival.

Kotoka Suzuki – In Praise of Shadows // Eighth Blackbird
Sep 17, 2018
“In Praise of Shadows” for three paper players and electronics by Kotoka Suzuki. Performance by Eighth Blackbird at Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival, Richmond VA on November 5, 2016. Natalie Joachim, Michael J. Maccaferri & Nick Photinos.

Jennifer Higdon’s On a Wire with Eugene Symphony
November 15, 7:30pm | Hult Center for the Performing Arts

We’re having so much fun working Jennifer Higdon’s incredible concerto On a Wire back up for our upcoming performance with the Eugene Symphony. On November 15 at 7:30pm, we’ll take the stage at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts to present the “showy, exuberant, beautifully crafted ” work. Save the date and buy your tickets today.

Jennifer Higdon and her cat, Beau by Candace diCarlo

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Upcoming + Newsworthy

Oct 5 // Nick Photinos at Chamber Music at Bethany // Chicago, IL
Oct 17 // Olagón: A Cantata in Doublespeak // Kansas City, MO
Oct 18-20 // Matthew Duvall’s Transient Landscapes // Sarasota, FL
Oct 29-Nov 3 // University of Richmond Residency // Richmond, VA
Nov 2-3 // Third Practice Festival // Richmond, VA
Nov 8-10 // Nick Photinos at Electroacoustic Barn Dance // Jacksonville, FL
Nov 15 // Higdon’s On a Wire with Eugene Symphony // Eugene, OR

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

For new music by living composers from New York Public Radio

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Please visit The Jazz Loft Project based on the work of Sam Stephenson
Please visit The Jazz Loft Radio project from New York Public Radio