Dover Quartet at Curtis Institute

Short-term residencies with eighth blackbird are an excellent way to reach a greater audience at your university, conservatory and in the greater community. eighth blackbird offers a variety of activities  which can be easily combined with a performance engagement.  Please talk with your DLAR representative to inquire about options and availability. Suggested programs include:


eighth blackbird will perform pieces or excerpts of pieces from our repertoire, then discuss and analyze the music and the ensemble’s unique approach to performance. Questions to and from the audience will be addressed throughout the demonstration.

Curtis Masterclass


Members of eighth blackbird will listen to solo or small ensemble performances and offer comments and suggestions. Groups of any instrumentation playing music from any time period are welcome.

Extended Chamber Ensemble Coaching

For residencies that last 4 days or more, it is possible to work with chamber ensembles again after the initial masterclass, provided they have had time to rehearse, as an ensemble, points discussed in the masterclass.

Open Rehearsal

Members of eighth blackbird will lead auditors through a public rehearsal of the ensemble’s current repertoire. Repertoire for the class will be chosen by eighth blackbird. Questions from the audience will be addressed during the rehearsal.

Discussion Session for Performers

Members of eighth blackbird will discuss the business aspects of running a chamber music ensemble. Topics may include how to form and maintain a chamber music ensemble, how to communicate effectively in rehearsals and meetings, how to choose and prepare repertoire, and how to perform with conviction for an audience.

with Nico Muhly

Discussion Session for Composers

eighth blackbird will discuss how to write for each instrument group (strings, winds, piano/percussion) and how to write for groups using mixed instrumentation. Other topics may include orchestration, commissioning, score organization, and meeting deadlines.

Movement Workshop

In a masterclass setting, eighth blackbird will coach a chamber music group that has memorized a short piece, movement, or segment of a larger work. eighth blackbird will address such issues as movement, choreography, stage presence, visual communication, and other elements.

Business of Chamber Music

Members of eighth blackbird will discuss various topics, including the business aspects of running a chamber music ensemble, the history of the group, how the ensemble finds and rehearses repertoire, etc. Regardless of topic, we encourage the participation of a moderator (faculty member, etc) to guide discussion.

Double Sextet at UMCP

Collaborative Performances

The ensemble will rehearse with and prepare work(s) to be performed alongside a student ensemble. Available repertoire varies per season. These type of collaborations typically take several days prior to a performance to accomplish depending on the ability level of collaborators and repertoire chosen.

Composer Reading Workshop

The ensemble will sight-read student compositions. No preparation will be done in advance. Pieces should be short (or excerpts), and use minimal instrumentation, agreed to in advance by the ensemble.


Download our full Residency Guidelines here.