EIGHTH BLACKBIRD ANNOUNCES
BLACKBIRD CREATIVE LAB FELLOWS
30 MUSICIANS CHOSEN FOR TUITION-FREE
SUMMER TRAINING PROGRAM,
June 11 – 24 IN OJAI, CA
Faculty: Eighth Blackbird, Jennifer Higdon,
Ted Hearne, Mark DeChiazza
Guest artists: Steve Reich, Ned McGowan,
Pamela Z, Tom Morris, Elaine Martone
“THE LAB” IN CONCERT, JUNE 23 + 24
“We want to share what we’ve learned and empower extraordinary emerging innovators
to make, formulate, create, interpret, and perform.” – Matthew Duvall, Eighth Blackbird
Eighth Blackbird is pleased to announce that 30 early-career musicians have been chosen to receive Fellowships to the inaugural Blackbird Creative Lab, a two-week summer training program taking place June 11 – 24 at the Besant Hill School in Ojai, California. The Fellows comprise eighteen performers, six composers, and two ensembles. In addition to Eighth Blackbird, the Blackbird Creative Lab Faculty includes composers Jennifer Higdon and Ted Hearne, director/filmmaker Mark DeChiazza. During the session, a stellar array of Guest Artists will rotate through The Lab: composer Steve Reich, composer/performer Pamela Z, flutist/composer Ned McGowan, and from the Ojai Music Festival, curator Tom Morris and producer Elaine Martone, who also serves as Director of the Blackbird Creative Lab.
More than 200 musicians applied from around the world; the 30 selected will attend tuition-free, inclusive of room and board. Hailing from Australia, Belgium, and the USA, they are a diverse group chosen for their “talent, technical proficiency, ability to communicate, personality, curiosity and creativity.” The Lab Fellows will participate in a learn-by-doing, exploratory process of creating new work – one that integrates the essential skills required for success in the field today. These include developing a performance aesthetic, nurturing one’s curatorial vision, and building an entrepreneurial foundation. With this inclusive training, the Fellows will be poised to embark on their own paths as provocateurs and visionaries in the arts.
The Blackbird Creative Lab will culminate in a pair of concerts, June 23 and 24 (7:30 pm) at the Besant Hill School’s Zalk Theater. These will be open to the public, giving audiences a chance to experience the fruits of the two-week session, and offering the Fellows an opportunity to test their work in live performance.
Pending faculty evaluation, exceptional work created at The Lab may be cultivated for further technical and production development with the goal of realizing additional performances and other professional opportunities. These may be full programs, or additions to existing Eighth Blackbird events.
Says percussionist Matthew Duvall, “For two decades, we’ve been preparing for the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab. Since college we’ve been making, interpreting, and performing art; now we’re expanding our mission to embrace mentoring. We want to share what we’ve learned and empower extraordinary emerging innovators to make, formulate, create, interpret, and perform. To inspire, and to be inspired by, the vanguard of this time.
“We’re so fortunate to be able to include the help of Jennifer Higdon, Ted Hearne, Lab Director Elaine Martone, Tom Morris, Steve Reich, Mark DeChiazza, and Pamela Z. We’ll be drawing fully from this deep well of artistic expertise. Excitement doesn’t begin to describe our emotion as we think about the work ahead. We’ve already begun correspondence regarding production logistics, instrumental assignments, and compositional parameters.
“Marking the beginning of a new era for Eighth Blackbird, we are so thrilled that the time for the Creative Lab has finally come.”
Here are the 2017 Fellows in alphabetical order:
|Justine Aronson||soprano||Erika Boysen||flute|
|Dan Caputo||composer||Danny Clay||composer|
|Viet Cuong||composer||Jordan Curcuruto||percussion|
|Fjóla Evans||composer||Robert Fleitz||piano|
|Bryan Hayslett||cello||Molly Herron||composer|
|Molly Joyce||composer||Matt Keown||percussion|
|Tamara Kohler||flute||Sammy Lesnick||clarinet|
|Benjamin Mitchell||clarinet||Kate Outterbridge||violin|
|Passepartout Duo||piano + percussion duo|
|Evan Saddler||percussion||Jeff Stern||percussion|
|Michiko Theurer||violin||Dylan Ward||saxophone|
|Aaron Wolff||cello||Phoebe Wu||piano|
Further information about the Blackbird Creative Lab is available at eighthblackbird.org/lab.
A B O U T E I G H T H B L A CK B I R D
Eighth Blackbird is “one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet” (Chicago Tribune). Launched in 1996 as a twinkle in the eyes of six entrepreneurial Oberlin Conservatory undergraduates, this Chicago-based super-group has earned its status as “a brand-name…defined by adventure, vibrancy and quality….known for performing from memory, employing choreography and collaborations with theater artists, lighting designers and even puppetry artists” (Detroit Free Press).
Eighth Blackbird kicked off its 20th anniversary in 2016, quickly garnering a fourth GRAMMY Award as well as the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Anniversary celebrations continue throughout the 2016-17 season.
Over the course of two decades, Eighth Blackbird has commissioned and premiered hundreds of works by dozens of composers including David T. Little, Steven Mackey, Missy Mazzoli, and Steve Reich, whose commissioned work, Double Sextet, went on to win the Pulitzer Prize (2009). A long-term relationship with Chicago’s Cedille Records has produced seven acclaimed recordings (most recently, Hand Eye) and four impressive GRAMMY Awards for Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance: for strange imaginary animals (2008), Lonely Motel: Music from Slide (2011), Meanwhile (2012), and Filament (2015).
Eighth Blackbird’s members (Nathalie Joachim, flutes; Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets; Yvonne Lam, violin & viola; Nicholas Photinos, cello; Matthew Duvall, percussion; Lisa Kaplan, piano) hail from the Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden, Empire and Bay states. The name “Eighth Blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, aphoristic poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” (1917).
Eighth Blackbird is represented in Europe by Hazard Chase (London). Elsewhere in the world Eighth Blackbird is represented by David Lieberman Artists’ Representatives. www.eighthblackbird.org
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