U of A Wind Ensemble Joins Eighth Blackbird In Performance April 12
The U of A Wind Ensemble will present its next concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, with four-time GRAMMY winners Eighth Blackbird and guest composer Viet Cuong.
The concert is free to the public, but a ticket is required. Tickets can be acquired through the Faulkner Performing Arts Center website at faulkner.uark.edu.
This unique concert will begin with Eighth Blackbird performing works by Andy Akiho, Viet Cuong, Jonathan Bailey Holland and Julia Wolfe. The U of A Wind Ensemble will then join Eighth Blackbird onstage for the second half of the concert that will include additional music by Viet Cuong, Andy Akiho and Pauline Oliveros.
This performance is a part of Music of Our Time, a three-year initiative of the U of A Bands that will engage our students and community with diverse composers, performers, educators and conductors in master classes, rehearsals and live performances.
About Eighth Blackbird: Launched by six entrepreneurial Oberlin Conservatory undergraduates, Eighth Blackbird has gained international recognition since winning the 1998 Concert Artists Guild Competition. The group has commissioned and premiered hundreds of works by composers including Viet Cuong, Bryce Dessner, Jennifer Higdon, Amy Beth Kirsten, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Pamela Z and Steve Reich, whose Double Sextet won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. A long-term relationship with Chicago's Cedille Records has produced nine acclaimed recordings and four GRAMMY Awards for Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance, most recently in 2016 for Filament. Eighth Blackbird was named Music America's 2017 Ensemble of the Year, were inaugural recipients of Chamber Music America's Visionary Award and garnered the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. In 2017 they launched the Blackbird Creative Lab, a mentorship program for emerging artists. The name Eighth Blackbird derives from Wallace Stevens's aphoristic poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.
About Viet Cuong: Called "alluring" and "wildly inventive" by The New York Times, the music of American composer Viet Cuong has been performed on six continents by musicians and ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic, Eighth Blackbird, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Sō Percussion, Alarm Will Sound, Atlanta Symphony, Sandbox Percussion, Albany Symphony, PRISM Quartet and Dallas Winds, among many others. Cuong's music has been featured in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, and his works for wind ensemble have amassed hundreds of performances worldwide. Passionate about bringing these different facets of the contemporary music community together, his upcoming projects include a concerto for Eighth Blackbird with the United States Navy Band. Cuong also enjoys exploring the unexpected and whimsical, and he is often drawn to projects where he can make peculiar combinations and sounds feel enchanting or oddly satisfying. His recent works thus include a snare drum solo, percussion quartet concerto and, most recently, a double oboe concerto. He is currently the California Symphony's Young American Composer-in-Residence and recently served as the Early Career Musician-in-Residence at the Dumbarton Oaks. Cuong holds degrees from Princeton University (MFA/PhD), the Curtis Institute of Music (AD) and Peabody Conservatory (BM/MM).
Reserve tickets now through the Faulkner Performing Arts Center website at faulkner.uark.edu.
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