U of A Wind Ensemble joins the eighth Blackbird in concert on April 12

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The U of A Wind Ensemble will perform its next concert at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12, featuring four-time GRAMMY winner Eighth Blackbird and guest composer Viet Cuong.

The concert is free to the public, but a ticket is required. Tickets can be purchased on 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 on stage for the second half of the concert which will include additional music from Viet Cuong, Andy Akiho and Pauline Oliveros.

This show is part of Music of our timea three-year initiative by U of A Bands that will engage our students and community with diverse composers, performers, educators, and conductors in masterclasses, rehearsals, and live performances.

About the eighth blackbird: Started by six entrepreneurial undergraduate students from the Oberlin Conservatory, Eighth Blackbird has gained international recognition since winning the Guild of Concert Artists Competition in 1998. The group has commissioned and premiered hundreds of works by composers such as Viet Cuong, Bryce Dessner, Jennifer Higdon, Amy Beth Kirsten, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Pamela Z and Steve Reich, including Double Sextet won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. A long-term relationship with Cedille Records of Chicago has produced nine acclaimed recordings and four GRAMMY Awards for Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Musical Performance, most recently in 2016 for Filament. Eighth Blackbird was named Music America’s 2017 Ensemble of the Year, was the inaugural recipient of Chamber Music America’s Visionary Award, and won 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 the aphoristic poem by Wallace Stevens Thirteen Ways to Look at a Blackbird.

About Viet Cuong: Called “seductive” 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 performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center, and his wind ensemble works have amassed hundreds of performances worldwide. Passionate about bringing together these different facets of the contemporary music community, his upcoming projects include a concerto for Eighth Blackbird with the United States Navy Band. Cuong also likes to explore the unexpected and the whimsical, and he is often drawn to projects where he can create particular combinations and sounds that are enchanting or oddly satisfying. His recent works include a snare drum solo, a concerto for percussion quartet and, more recently, a concerto for double oboe. He is currently the Young American Composer-in-Residence of the California Symphony and recently served as Early Career Musician-in-Residence at Dumbarton Oaks. Cuong is a graduate of Princeton University (MFA/PhD), the Curtis Institute of Music (AD) and the Peabody Conservatory (BM/MM).

Book your tickets now on the Faulkner Performing Arts Center website at faulkner.uark.edu.

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