Grammy-winning eighth blackbird promises – and delivers – provocative and mind-changing performances to its burgeoning audiences. Combining bracing virtuosity with an alluring sense of irreverence, the sextet debunks the myth that contemporary music is only for a cerebral few.
2013 / 2014 Touring Season:
Shifted in Flight
In recital, the two-time Grammy-winning sextet combines the virtuosity of a string quartet with the raw energy of a storefront theater company. Audiences will take a road trip across an unexpected musical landscape with the members of eighth blackbird as their capricious tour guides. Three new works appear during the 2013/14 season: Grawemeyer Award-winning Australian composer Brett Dean’s new sextet, a new piece by Chicago based composer Lee Hyla and another by New Yorker, Stefan Weisman.
Never My Heart
Composed by Amy Beth Kirsten; Directed
Let us introduce you to Harlequin. He is an obsessive trickster and devilish cad. He is a tortured beast terrorized by his own nature. And he loves Columbine, deeply and tragically. For better. Or for worse. The six virtuoso musicians of the Grammy-winning ensemble eighth blackbird take on all of the roles in this tragicomedy. They play, speak, sing, whisper, growl and mime, breathing life into the dusty characters of the commedia dell’arte. Composer Amy Beth Kirsten is a Guggenheim Fellow.
OP.21, By Arnold Schoenberg
Pierrot is far from home… In this new production of Pierrot Lunaire, eighth blackbird supplements their six-member ensemble with a singer and a dancer, adding multimedia design elements to create a comprehensive theater experience.
On a Wire (2010)-by Jennifer Higdon
FOR SEXTET AND ORCHESTRA
This 25-minute work is the latest fruit of a decade long relationship between the sextet and composer Jennifer Higdon. Showy, lyrical, mysterious and dramatic, On a Wire takes its audience on a fascinating,unpredictable musical journey..
“Stage animals as well as outstanding chamber players, eighth blackbird performs with a freedom almost unheard of in their technically demanding repertoire. The musicians were integrated into the production and played their parts from memory - an uncommon delicacy. "–The Sunday Telegraph (London)
“The concerto is showy, exuberant, beautifully crafted. The audience erupted, hollered, stood, smiled, laughed with communal euphoria.”–Atlanta Journal Constitution