Grammy Award-winning sextet eighth blackbird – the ultimate ambassador for new music – announces an important change to its line-up, bidding a reluctant farewell to founding member, violinist, violist, and arranger Matt Albert, and a warm welcome to new member Yvonne Lam. Lam, who currently serves as Assistant Concertmaster of the Washington National Opera Orchestra, is an exceptionally talented musician who studied both piano and violin at the Colburn School before going on to earn her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Curtis and Juilliard respectively. Her first performance with eighth blackbird as its new violinist will be in the ensemble’s home town, playing at Chicago Counterpoint, a festival of Steve Reich works in Millennium Park on August 22. This concert, presented with Chicago's Third Coast Percussion, will include an all-live performance of Reich's Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet with both Lam and Albert on the violin.
One of eighth blackbird’s founding members, Matt Albert has played a vital role in the group’s phenomenal success since its inception in 1996. The sextet’s current “PowerFUL/LESS” program features two of his arrangements: the timeless “Chaconne” from Bach’s Partita in D minor, and Frederic Rzewski’s politically-charged Coming Together, as heard on eighth blackbird’s 2005 album, Fred.