eighth blackbird - October 15

Grammy-winning eighth blackbird promises—and delivers—provocative and engaging performances to its burgeoning audiences.  eighth blackbird is widely lauded for its performing style—often playing from memory with theatrical flair—and for making new music accessible to wide audiences.  The New York Times raved: "eighth blackbird's performances are the picture of polish and precision, and they seem to be thoroughly engaged by music in a broad range of contemporary styles."  Profiled in the New York Times and NPR's All Things Considered, the sextet has also been featured on Bloomberg TV's Muse, CBS News Sunday Morning, St. Paul Sunday, Weekend America, and The Next Big Thing, among others.

 Since its founding in 1996, eighth blackbird has actively commissioned and recorded new works from such eminent composers as Steve Reich, George Perle, Frederic Rzewski, and Joseph Schwantner, and has commissioned from a younger generation (Jennifer Higdon, Stephen Hartke, . . . ).  The group was honored in 2007 with the American Music Center's Trailblazer Award and a Meet The Composer Award.  eighth blackbird received the first BMI/Boudleaux-Bryant Fund Commission, was the first contemporary music group to win the Grand Prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, won the 2000 Naumburg Chamber Music Award and the 2004 NEA/CMA Special Commissioning Award, and has received grants from BMI, Meet The Composer, the Greenwall Foundation, and Chamber Music America, among many others.

The ensemble is enjoying acclaim for its four CDs released by Cedille Records.  The most recent—strange imaginary animals, released in November 2006—won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance, and has garnered an almost unprecedented number of rave reviews, both in the U.S. press and internationally.

eighth blackbird played for us in November of 2004—an unforgettable performance of works from 1969 through 2003.  It’s time for another wake-up call.  Their Boise program is called “Meanwhile.”

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.
(Wallace Stevens)

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