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2011 Event Media Release - eighth blackbird

Monday, 27 June 2011

22 September 2011, the Studio
The Grammy Award-winning sextet and ultimate ambassador for new music, eighth blackbird, today announced their first ever Australian concert.

eighth blackbird derives its name from the Wallace Stevens poem
“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”
The eighth stanza includes the lines:
I know noble accents And lucid, inescapable rhythms

For one night only on 22 September, this admired new music ensemble will perform works of bracing virtuosity with the energetic irreverence and technical brilliance for which they have become known.

Hailed as “friendly, unpretentious, idealistic, and highly skilled” by The New Yorker, eighth blackbird is widely lauded for its unusual performing style – often playing from memory with theatrical flair – and for its efforts to make new music accessible to wider audiences. Since its founding in 1996, the sextet has actively commissioned and recorded new works. Recent commissions include a concerto from Jennifer Higdon and pieces from Steve Reich, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Steven Mackey, David Lang, Stephen Hartke, and Bruno Mantovani.

For their performance at Sydney Opera House, their program will showcase pieces by some of these composers including Stephen Hartke, winner of the prestigious Charles Ives Opera Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Mayke Nas, Dutch composer-de-jour and number-fetishist whose music titters on the edge of sound and noise, playfulness and ambiguity; and Timo Andres, pianist, composer and blogger extraordinaire based in New York City.

Based in Chicago, eighth blackbird are fast becoming the most highly respected and influential new music ensemble in the USA. Following its runaway success as performer and curator of New York City’s new and much talked-about Tune-In festival last month, eighth blackbird will feature in celebrations of the 75th birthday of Steve Reich, America’s most important living composer: Music of Steve Reich at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Reverberations: The Influence of Steve Reich at the Barbican.

eighth blackbird are contemporary champions of new music and living composers and have received numerous honors including winning the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance for strange imaginary animals.

eighth blackbird are: Timothy Munro (flutes), Michael J. Maccaferri (clarinets), Matt Albert (violin/viola), Nick Photinos (cello), Matthew Duvall (percussion) and Lisa Kaplan (piano).

Timothy Munro (flutes) was worn in Brisbane, Australia. His incredible musical journey has taken him from studying flute at Queensland Conservatorium and Australian National Academy of Music to making waves at the pinnacle of the international music scene.

Fabian Svensson: Two Sides (2007) 9'
Mayke Nas: DiGiT #2 (2002) 8'
Philip Glass: Music in Similar Motion (1969) 12'
Timo Andres: Crashing Through Fences (2009) 6'
Dan Visconti: Fractured Jams (2006) 14'
Stephen Hartke: Meanwhile: Incidental music to imaginary puppet plays (2007) 18'

Thursday, 22 September
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: Studio
Tickets: A Res $55 B Res $35 Insiders: A Res $44 B Res $35 Concession: $35
Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or
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MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Inch, Publicity Coordinator
02 9250 7822 / 0401 718 230 /


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