Eighth Blackbird perform Pulitzer Prize winning piece at Ojai Music Festival Sunday, June 14

Steve Reich, the 2008 featured composer at the Ojai Music Festival described by New Yorker magazine as “the most original musical thinker of our time,” has won a Pulitzer Prize for Double Sextet, which was commissioned and premiered in 2007 by eighth blackbird, the music director of the 2009 Ojai Music Festival. The 22-minute work can be performed either by a sextet playing against a prerecording of the work or as an ensemble of 12 instrumentalists.

On Sunday, June 14, the closing day of the four-day Ojai Music Festival, eighth blackbird will be joined by six ‘live’ musicians in a performance of Steve Reich’s Double Sextet, to open the Festival’s four-hour Marathon Finale.

Grammy Award-winning sextet eighth blackbird, known for its provocative and engaging performances, comprising flutist Tim Munro, clarinetist Michael J. Maccaferri, violin/violist Matt Albert, cellist Nicholas Photinos, percussionist Matthew Duvall, percussion; and pianist Lisa Kaplan. The sextet, which plays with a virtuosic and theatrical flair, debunks the myth that contemporary music is only for a cerebral few.

The six artists joining eighth blackbird in the June 14 performance of Double Sextet are flutist Alexis Kenny, clarinetist John Schertle, violinist Andrew McCann, cellist Darrett Adkins, percussionist Greg Beyer, and pianist Amy Briggs.

American composer Steve Reich, an early pioneer in tape music and American minimalism, has established himself as one of the foremost composers of our time. The 72-year-old composer has been described by The Guardian as one of the few composers who have "altered the direction of musical history" and by The New York Times as “our greatest living composer.” His music has been performed by countless orchestras and ensembles worldwide, and noted choreographers have created dances to his music. Known for steady pulse, repetition, and a fascination with canons, his music has been influential to composers and pop musicians all over the world. Mr. Reich has been recognized with Grammy Awards for Different Trains and Music for 18 Musicians (also to be performed at the 2009 Ojai Music Festival), and his “documentary video opera” works The Cave and Three Tales, created in collaboration with video artist Beryl Korot, have expanded the boundaries of the operatic medium.

The 63rd annual Ojai Music Festival, under 2009 Music Director eighth blackbird, takes place from June 11 to June 14. The Festival, which for six decades has become well known for its fearlessness in championing pioneering musical ideas and personalities, takes place in the unspoiled beauty of California’s Ojai Valley, and is known worldwide for providing artists with the freedom to present music they are passionate about. Many of today’s finest contemporary artists have been gathered for this year’s festival, which has been described as “a wild and diverse musical party of extraordinary talents.” Among them are freewheeling chamber ensemble Tin Hat; the matchless recorder quartet from Berlin , QNG; American pianist Jeremy Denk; composer/guitarist Steven Mackey, actor/singer Rinde Eckert, and renowned sound sculptor Trimpin. The Ojai Music Festival is located 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Ojai Music Festival single tickets range from $35 to $95 for reserved seating; lawn seats are $15. For a full schedule of events, visit www.ojaifestival.org.

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