Eighth Blackbird is a Chicago-based, four-time Grammy-winning ensemble consisting of Nathalie Joachim (flutes), Nick Photinos (cello), Matthew Duvall (percussion), Lisa Kaplan (piano), and current collaborators Matt Albert (violin) and Zachary Good (clarinets). Eighth Blackbird’s mission is to move music forward through innovative performance, advocacy for music by living composers, and its legacy of guiding an emerging generation of musicians.
The group 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 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).
Since winning the 1998 Concert Artists Guild Competition, Eighth Blackbird has gained international recognition. Over the course of two decades, the group has commissioned and premiered hundreds of works by composers such as Jennifer Higdon, Amy Beth Kirsten, David Lang, George Perle and Steve Reich, whose “Double Sextet” went on to win the 2009 Pulitzer Prize.
A long-term relationship with Chicago’s Cedille Records has produced nine acclaimed recordings and four Grammy Awards for Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance, most recently in 2016 for “Filament”. They were named Music America’s 2017 Ensemble of the Year, were the inaugural recipients of Chamber Music America’s Visionary Award and the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.
The name “Eighth Blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, aphoristic poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” (1917).
Eighth Blackbird is on a Swedish tour, realized in collaboration between the regional arranging parts Scenkonst Sörmland, Länsmusiken in Stockholm, Västmanlandsmusiken and Estrad Norr. Sound of Stockholm and its membership association Samtida Musik collaborate on this presentation by kind support from Stockholm City Council, The Swedish Arts Council and the Helge Ax:son Johnson Foundation.
Nina Shekhar: ice ‘n’ SPICE (2018) 8′
Andy Akiho: Karakurenai (2007) 5′
Fjola Evans: Eroding (2017) 10′
Holly Harrison: Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup (2016) 11′
Jessie Marino: Rot Blau (2009) 6′
Viet Cuong: Electric Aroma (2017, arr. 2018) 7′
Jonathan Holland: The Clarity of Cold Air (2013) 8′
Julius Eastman: Stay On It (1973) 17′
Date: 19 November (Tuesday), 19:30
Location: Fylkingen (Torkel Knutssonsgatan 2, Stockholm)