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Grammy-Winning Eighth Blackbird Sets UW Performance


February 5, 2009 — The Grammy Award-winning sextet Eighth Blackbird will perform a selection of songs from their widely-acclaimed four albums at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at the University of Wyoming Fine Arts Center concert hall.

Tickets cost $7 general admission or $5 for students and senior citizens and are available at the fine arts box office by calling (307) 766-6666.

Described by The New Yorker as "friendly, unpretentious, idealistic and highly skilled," Eighth Blackbird promises its ever-increasing audiences provocative and engaging performances.

Eighth Blackbird is widely lauded for its performing style, often playing from memory with virtuosic and theatrical flair, and its efforts to make new music accessible to wide audiences. A New York Times reviewer raved, "Eighth Blackbird's performances are the picture of polish and precision, and they seem to be thoroughly engagedby music in a broad range of contemporary styles."

The sextet has been the subject of profiles in the New York Times and on NPR's All Things Considered. The group's 2008 recording of "Strange Imaginary Animals" won the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance. The ensemble is in residence at the University of Richmond in Virginia and the University of Chicago.

The ensemble was acclaimed for its four CDs released to date on Cedille Records. The first, "Thirteen Ways," was selected by Billboard magazine as a Top 10 CD of 2003. "Beginnings," their second disc, was summed up by the New York Times: "The performances have all the sparkle, energy and precision of the earlier outings." In 2006 the group debuted on the Naxos label in a performance of "The Time Gallery," commissioned by Eighth Blackbird from 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec.

Members of Eighth Blackbird hold degrees in music performance from Oberlin Conservatory, among other institutions. The group derives its name from the Wallace Stevens poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."

The public is also invited to observe members of Eighth Blackbird working with UW music students during their residency between Feb. 10-13. For more information and the schedule, contact the music department at (307) 766-5242 or visit the events Web site at www.uwyo.edu/finearts.

Photo:
Grammy Award-winning sextet Eighth Blackbird will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12.

Posted on Thursday, February 05, 2009

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