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California Polytechnic State University,
March 23, 2004
(805) 756-7110
eighth blackbird Brings New Music to Cal Poly April 21
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Hailed by the New York Times as “a superb
contemporary sextet” and ambassadors of new music, eighth blackbird (all
lower case) brings their virtuoso sound to the Cal Poly Theatre on
Wednesday, April 21, 2004 for an 8 p.m. concert.
“Not, perhaps, since the Kronos Quartet first reared its collective head
has contemporary music had advocates like these.” (The Boston Globe)
Cal Poly Arts presents the fun, unconventional ensemble as part of the
Cal Poly Arts innovative “Director’s Choice” series, which showcases
emerging artists who show great promise in their fields.
The group has a growing reputation for its vitality, astounding musical
versatility, and its dedication to the works of today’s composers.
eighth blackbird features Molly Alicia Barth (flutes), Michael J.
Maccaferri, (clarinets), Matt Albert (violin and viola), Nicholas
Photinos (cello), Matthew Duvall (percussion), and Lisa Kaplan (piano).
Formed in 1996 at the Oberlin Conservatory, eighth blackbird was awarded
first prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and soon
received top honors at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition.
The sextet was honored in 2000 with the prestigious Naumburg Chamber
Music Award and the first BMI/Boudleaux-Bryant Fund Commission. They
also received commissioning grants from CMA, Meet the Composer, and the
Greenwall Foundation, adding works by Randolph Coleman, Daniel Kellogg,
Jennifer Higdon and Derek Bermel to its repertoire.
The ensemble claimed the 1998, 2000, and 2002 CMA/ASCAP Awards for
Adventurous Programming and was the first contemporary ensemble to win
San Luis Obispo, California
First Prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition (1998).
Several eminent composers, most notably Frederic Rzewski and George
Perle, have dedicated works to eighth blackbird. The ensemble’s
extensive repertoire includes works by Michael Torke, George Crumb,
Aaron Jay Kernis, Paul Moravec, John Harbison, Joan Tower and Bang on a
Can’s David Lang, as well as ground-breaking works by new composers
David Schober, Daniel Kellogg, Carlos Sanchez-Guterriez and the Minimum
Security Composers’ Collective.
“Round Nut Tool,” eighth blackbird’s debut CD, was self-released in
1999. The ensemble recently signed a three-record deal with Cedille
Records Repertoire. Their April, 2004 release, “Thirteen Ways,”
includes works by Joan Tower, George Perle, David Schober and Thomas Albert.
eighth blackbird recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington,
D.C., at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, in Salt Lake City, and at
UCLA, the University of Texas at Austin and the Eastman School of Music.
Past seasons have included performances at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully
Hall, Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Columbia’s
Miller Theater, the Metropolitan Museum, the Library of Congress, and
the La Jolla Chamber Music Society.
The ensemble has also performed in San Francisco, Philadelphia and
Mexico City, among many other cities, and has toured South Korea.
The sextet appears at numerous festivals, was featured on “CBS Sunday
Morning,” and they were the focus of a symposium on new music at the
American Symphony Orchestra League’s annual conference, where they also
eighth blackbird is active in teaching young artists about contemporary
music and teaches master classes and conducts outreach activities in the
art of contemporary performance and interpretation.
eighth blackbird currently is in-residence at Northwestern University
and the University of Chicago. Each member holds a Bachelor’s degree in
performance from the Oberlin Conservatory, an Artist Diploma in chamber
music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music,
and a Master’s degree from the Northwestern University School of Music.
Tickets for the performance are $28 and $34, with student discounts
available, and may be purchased at the Performing Arts Ticket Office, 10
a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. To order by
phone, call 805/756-2787; to order by fax: 805/756-6088. Order on-line at
Sponsored by Gerry and Peggy Peterson and by KCBX 90.1 FM. The concert is also supported in part by a grant from the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF).
For audio and video samples of Cal Poly Arts events, visit
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