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Eighth Blackbird

Photo of Eighth Blackbird

EIGHTH BLACKBIRD (8BB) moves music forward through innovative performance, advocacy for music by living creatives, and its growing legacy of guiding an emerging generation of artists.

Accolades include: Four Grammy Awards for Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance | The MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions | The Concert Artists Guild Competition Grand Prize | The Musical America Ensemble of the Year | The Chamber Music America Visionary Award | The APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards Performance of the Year.

Creative Output Includes: Commissions and world premieres of hundreds of works by established and emerging composers | fully produced theatrical chamber music productions | chamber ensemble concertos with both orchestras and bands | an extensive recording catalog

In addition to chamber music performance, the members of 8BB value their roles as curators, educators, and mentors. Beginning exclusively as a chamber music ensemble, 8BB has expanded in recent years to represent multiple mission-driven initiatives: Eighth Blackbird | Blackbird IV | The Blackbird Creative Lab | The Chicago Artists Workshop | Blackbird Productions.

The name “Eighth Blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, imagistic poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: “I know noble accents / And lucid, inescapable rhythms; / But I know, too, / That the blackbird is involved / In what I know.”

Eighth Blackbird is managed by Epstein Fox Performances LLC.

Matthew Duvall, Artistic Director
Lisa Kaplan, Executive Director

composition as explanation Cast

  • Dalia Chin, flutes
  • Zachary Good, clarinets
  • Maiani da Silva, violin
  • Ashley Bathgate, cello
  • Matthew Duvall, percussion
  • Lisa Kaplan, piano
  • Text: Gertrude Stein
  • Music: David Lang
  • Direction: Anne Bogart
  • Lighting and Set Design: Brian Scott
  • Audio Engineering and Design: Matthew McCabe

Matthew Duvall proudly endorses Pearl Drums and Adams Musical Instruments, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Zildjian Cymbals, and Black Swamp Percussion Accessories. Lisa Kaplan is a Steinway Artist.

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