. Interchanging Idioms: eighth blackbird takes Manhattan, with return to Carnegie Hall and launch of new “Tune-In” festival

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

eighth blackbird takes Manhattan, with return to Carnegie Hall and launch of new “Tune-In” festival

“eighth blackbird is so good it’s dangerous.” – Boston Globe

eighth blackbird’s last New York appearance in May moved New York Times critic Steve Smith to “env[y] a composer’s opportunity to challenge these versatile, expressive performers.” It is an opportunity that many of today’s most important composers are taking. On January 31, the Grammy Award-winning sextet returns to New York with further examples of the wealth of new music it has inspired, commissioned, and premiered, including Stephen Hartke’s Pulitzer Prize finalist Meanwhile, when it takes the playful and popular “Still Life” program to Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Then, still in the city on February 16-20, eighth blackbird helps launch the new “Tune-In” festival at the Park Avenue Armory, not only as performers but also – following its success as the collective music director of the 2009 Ojai Music Festival – as Tune-In’s curator. Festival highlights include the New York premieres of the group’s new, two-part “PowerFUL/LESS” program and of John Luther Adams’s monumental Inuksuit. Meanwhile the sextet’s recent recording of Steve Reich’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet was selected for numerous “Best of 2010” lists, and a new disc, showcasing 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon’s new concerto On a Wire, is due for February release. Both works were commissioned expressly for eighth blackbird; as Gramophone magazine concluded, in a January 2011 profile of the group, “clearly the ensemble is thriving.”

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