Monday August 22, 2011
in downtown Chicago’s Pritzker Pavillion at Millennium Park

Steve Reich Double Sextet (2008) CHICAGO PREMIERE OF LIVE VERSION
Reich Mallet Quartet (2009) CHICAGO PREMIERE
Reich Music for 18 Musicians (1974-74)

The Pritzker Pavilion pulses with energy and joy as two of Chicago's world-class ensembles join forces to throw Steve Reich a wild 75th birthday party. Reich draws on West African, Balinese and jazz traditions to create his unique soundworld, which has been embraced and imitated by a whole generation of popular, jazz and classical musicians.

Double Sextet, written for Chicago's own eighth blackbird, is a funky, off-kilter jam session that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music. It is performed for the first time in Chicago as originally conceived, as a virtuoso work for twelve all-star musicians.

Reich breathes a darker, more lush sonic tapestry into life in Mallet Quartet, the sound of which has been compared to cool jazz and the piano ballads of Carole King. Third Coast Percussion give the Chicago Premiere of this new work.

The evening climaxes with a performance of Reich's epic, mesmerizing musical road trip, Music for 18 Musicians, featuring some of America's finest young performers.

Peppered throughout proceeding are Reich's provocative, politically-charged early tape pieces, Come Out, Melodica, and It’s Gonna Rain. These visionary works are acoustically re-imagined by audio engineer Ryan Ingebritsen exclusively for Millennium Park's state-of-the-art sound system.

This event also represents a changing of the guard for eighth blackbird. Matt Albert, the ensemble's founding violinist, is leaving the group after 15 incredible years. At this Reich-fest he shares the stage with Yvonne Lam, who is playing her first concert as a member of eighth blackbird. These two violinists will perform the two parts of Double Sextet in what will be both a poignant tribute to Matt's important tenure, and a celebration of a new chapter for eighth blackbird.

Don't miss this singular and memorable event.

eighth blackbird & Third Coast Percussion with:

Matt Albert, violin
Amy Briggs, piano
Amy Conn, soprano
Sean Connors, percussion
Herine Coetzee Koschak, cello
Kirsten Hedegaard, soprano
Nina Heebink, alto
Kelli Kathman, flute
Adam Marks, piano
Susan Nelson, soprano
Doug Perkins, percussion
John Schertle, clarinet

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