Eighth Blackbird is “one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet” (Chicago Tribune). Launched by six entrepreneurial Oberlin Conservatory undergraduates in 1996, this Chicago-based super-group has earned it status. The core ensemble comprises of Nathalie Joachim (flute), Michael J. Maccaferri (Clarinet), Yvonne Lam (Violin and Viola), Nicholas Photinos (cello), Matthew Duvall (percussion) and Lisa Kaplan (Piano).
Eighth Blackbird’s mission—to move music forward through innovative performance, advocate for new music by living composers, and create a legacy of guiding an emerging generation of musicians —extends beyond recording and touring to curation and education. However, they have commissioned and premiered hundreds of works by composers such as David Lang, Steven Mackey, Missy Mazzoli, and Steve Reich, who’s Double Sextet went on to win the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. A long-term relationship with Chicago’s Cedille Records has produced seven acclaimed recordings and four Grammy Awards for Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance, most recently in 2016 for Filament.
They will be visiting ANU School of Music on Wednesday 22 February for an intensive Composition master class presented by Musica Viva and ANU School of Music. This will feature a 90 minute composition workshop hosted by Nicholas Photinos and Adam Marks. Photinos and Marks will discuss the complexities and challenges in the collaborative process between composer and player, and will be followed by an in-depth analysis of music pieces written for Nicholas Photinos to provide an insight from these challenges from a performance angle.
Throughout the master class Eighth blackbird will be working directly with ANU School of Music student composers, as well as offering two students the opportunity to have a one on one reading sessions of new compositions and works-in-progress.
The ANU School of Music is extremely excited to have Eighth Blackbird as the first visiting artist for 2017 and look forward to collaborating with this exciting Grammy award winning ensemble. With special thanks to Musica Viva and Eighth Blackbird for making this master class possible. They will be performing at Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music on the 23 February tickets on sale now.