pianist lisa kaplan wins prestigious 3arts award


credit: luke ratray

Chicago, IL, Oct. 29, 2013 — eighth blackbird, Chicago-based new music sextet, is proud to announce founding member and pianist, Lisa Kaplan, as one of ten Chicago artists to be honored with the prestigious 3Arts Award for 2013.

3Arts is a nonprofit organization that advocates for women artists, artists of color and artists with disabilities working in the performing (dance, music and theater), teaching and visual arts. The annual 3Arts Awards honorees each receive an unrestricted $15,000 award to put to use according to their individual needs and priorities. This year ten artists were honored at a ceremony on Monday, October 21 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Kaplan was selected from a pool of over one hundred Chicago artists for the award, all anonymously nominated by their peers.

Incredibly, this award offers much more than just its generous monetary prize: artists are granted access to an invaluable network of professional connections and resources, along with regular media promotion through 3Arts to further advance their careers. They are eligible to apply for fellowships and residencies offered nationally through the 3Arts network, and offered technical skills and support to crowdfund projects that require additional backing.

ABOUT Lisa Kaplan: Born in Motown, Lisa Kaplan is a pianist specializing in the performance of new work by living composers. Kaplan is also the founding pianist of the three-time Grammy Award-winning sextet eighth blackbird. She has won numerous awards, performed all over the country and has premiered new pieces by hundreds of composers, including Andy Akiho, Derek Bermel, Jennifer Higdon, Amy Beth Kirsten, David Lang, Nico Muhly, George Perle and Steve Reich. Kaplan has had the great pleasure to collaborate and make music with an eclectic array of incredibly talented people – Mario Batali, Jeremy Denk, Bryce Dessner, Glenn Kotche, Gustavo Santaolalla, Steve Schick, Robert Spano, Dawn Upshaw and Michael Ward-Bergeman to name a few. Recently she has greatly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to do some composing and arranging for eighth blackbird. Kaplan is a true foodie, gourmet cook, avid reader, crossword and Scrabble addict, enjoys baking ridiculously complicated pastry and loves outdoor adventures. She has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, braved the Australian outback, stared an enormous elephant in the face in Tanzania’s Ngorogoro Crater and survived close encounters with grizzly bears in the Brooks Range of Alaska.

ABOUT eighth blackbird: eighth blackbird combines the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band and the audacity of a storefront theater company. The Chicago-based, three-time Grammy Award-winning “super-musicians” (LA Times) entertain and provoke audiences across the country and around the world. In addition to longstanding relationships as Ensemble in Residence at the University of Richmond and University of Chicago, eighth blackbird is also in its second year of a three-year, Mellon Foundation-funded term as Ensemble in Residence at Philadelphia’s prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. eighth blackbird’s members hail from America’s Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden and Bay states, and Australia’s Sunshine State. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, aphoristic poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1917). Highlights of the 2013/14 include Chicago appearances at Ravinia, Millennium Park and the Museum of Contemporary Art; the premiere and multi-city tour of the evening length work “Heart & Breath”; and, performances of the concerto “On a Wire” with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony. www.eighthblackbird.org