eighth blackbird celebrates Steve Reich’s 75th birthday at Carnegie Hall and London’s Barbican

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 looks forward to two further high-profile festival engagements. Both celebrate the 75th birthday of Steve Reich, America’s most important living composer: “Music of Steve Reich” at New York’s Carnegie Hall (April 30) and “Reverberations: The Influence of Steve Reich” at the Barbican Hall, where the ensemble makes its London debut with two performances (May 8). A cornerstone of both festivals is eighth blackbird’s rendition of Double Sextet (20097), the work with which Reich won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize and eighth blackbird’s recent Nonesuch recording made numerous “Best of 2010” lists. Commissioned by, written for, and premiered by the Grammy Award-winning ensemble, at both upcoming festivals Double Sextet will be performed all-live, with the help of musicians from the Bang on a Can All-Stars. eighth blackbird’s other contribution to the London festival is a performance of the whimsical “Still Life” program, which the group then takes on tour to Bristol’s “Elektrostatic: Music and Film” festival (May 10) and Sussex’s “Nod to John Cage” exhibition (May 12). The English trip boasts European premieres of two eighth blackbird commissions: Missy Mazzoli’s Still Life with Avalanche (2008) in London and Stephen Hartke’s Meanwhile (2007) – a 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist – in Bristol.

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