CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 5, 2001
(NOTE TO EDITORS: For eighth blackbird advance interviews, contact these
members of the ensemble directly: Lisa Kaplan, pianist, at 847-869-9082 or
or Matthew Albert, violin/viola, at 773-456-1416 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
The name of the group is always written all-lower-case.)
Winner of the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, eighth blackbird, performs
Jan. 25 at UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The contemporary chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird,
winner of the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 2000, will conclude
a five-day University of Iowa residency with a concert at 8 p.m. Thursday,
Jan. 25 in Clapp Recital Hall, sponsored by Hancher Auditorium.
The residency will open with a free family concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan.
21 in the auditorium of West High School in Iowa City. Another free event,
open to the public, will be a concert/discussion at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23
at CSPS in Cedar Rapids.
All the music in the Jan. 25 concert program was written within the last
six years, including works by Minnesota composer David Schober, Daniel Kellogg,
Mexican composers Arturo Salinas and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, and Thomas Albert.
The concert will feature the world premiere of Kelloggs "Divinum
Mysterium," commissioned for eighth blackbird by Meet the Composer/Arts
Endowment Commissioning Music/USA.
A 25-year-old Connecticut native who is composer-in-residence at the University
of Connecticut, Kellogg has a keen interest in church music. "Divinum
Mysterium" is the title of a 13th-century chant that speaks of the mystery
of Gods relationship to the messiah.
Kellogg says of the a cappella performance of the chant, "It is one
of the most beautiful and striking experiences in my musical memory and serves
as the underlying fabric for this piece. . . The chant tune weaves in and
out of each movement and serves as the basis for all the musical material."
Educational activities by eighth blackbird will include Jan. 22-23 workshops
at McKinley Middle School and Metro High School in Cedar Rapids, and a Jan.
24 concert/discussion for UI undergraduate and graduate arts students in the
UI Museum of Art.
Eighth blackbird took its name from a poem by Wallace Stevens, "Thirteen
Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," which announces "I know noble accents/
And lucid, inescapable rhythms." Alberts piece, Suite from "Thirteen
Ways," commissioned by eighth blackbird, is a setting of the Stevens
A sextet featuring flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano,
eighth blackbird was the first contemporary ensemble ever to win the Concert
Artists Guild Competition, where they won First Prize, and they also have
won top prizes at the Fischoff and Coleman Chamber Music Competitions.
Donald Rosenberg wrote in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "The six members
of eighth blackbird appear to revel in works that stretch their artistic muscles
and provide them with enchanting means of musical expression. . . . eighth
blackbird is no ordinary ensemble. . . . The musicians are superlative players
with ears for works of glowing personality."
Calling eighth blackbird "a superb contemporary sextet," Allan
Kozinn of the New York Times observed, "the groups principal assets
are the players highly polished techniques and evident depth of feeling
for a variety of contemporary styles, as well as a sartorial casualness and
The eighth blackbird residency and concert are supported by Chamber Music
America, Group 5 Hospitality/Radisson Highlander Plaza and West Music Company.
Tickets for the Jan. 25 concert at $23 -- $18.40 for senior citizens, $11.50
for audience members 17 and younger, and $10 for UI students.
Box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays.
From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free,
1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard
or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university
bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.
Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at <email@example.com>.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should
dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel
prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and
seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with
TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
For UI arts information, visit this new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
-- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Learn about eighth blackbird at <http://www.eighthblackbird.com>.