Saturday, December 8, 2007

Richmond's Grammy hopefuls

eighth blackbird, the new-music sextet in residence at the University of Richmond, has snagged a Grammy Award nomination in the best chamber music performance category for its Cedille album "strange imaginary animals."

One piece on the disc, Jennifer Higdon's "Zaka," is a best classical contemporary composition nominee. The possibly prohibitive favorite in the category is Peter Lieberson's "Neruda Songs," recorded by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, the composer's late wife, with the Boston Symphony for Nonesuch. "Neruda Songs" also was nominated for best classical vocal performance and best classical album. The composer recently won the University of Louisville's prestigious and lucrative ($200,000) Grawemeyer Award for the song cycle.