Monday, February 13, 2012

eighth blackbird wins Grammy

The contemporary music sextet eighth blackbird, ensemble-in-residence at the University of Richmond, has won its second Grammy Award for “Lonely Motel – Music from Slide” (Cedille Records), recorded with composer-guitarist Steven Mackey and librettist, singer and actor Rinde Eckert. The disc won in the best small ensemble performance category.

Mackey, Eckert and eighth blackbird premiered “Slide” at the 2009 Ojai Music Festival in California, and presented the piece in March 2010 in Richmond.

The ’birds won their first Grammy in 2008 for their Cedille album “Strange Imaginary Animals,” a collection of short pieces by Mackey, Jennifer Higdon, Gordon Fitzell, David M. Gordon and Dennis DeSantis.

The next Richmond program by eighth blackbird is “Less Is More,” including works by David Lang, Alvin Lucier, Philippe Hurel, Morton Feldman, Matthias Pintscher and György Ligeti, at 7:30 p.m. March 14 at UR’s Modlin Arts Center. Tickets are $20. Details: (804) 289-8980;