Not your father’s chamber ensemble

Blackbird

The sextet eighth blackbird derives its name from the Wallace Stevens poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”

They’ve only been around for five years, but the contemporary classical sextet eighth blackbird has already made a splash in the world of classical music. In 1998, only their second year of performing, they became the first contemporary ensemble to win first prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, where they also won the Rockport Chamber Music Festival Prize. They have since gone on to rack up more awards and win accolades from audiences and critics for both their virtuosity and the fun they have presenting works by contemporary composers.

Philadelphians will have the opportunity to discover what all the fuss is about Friday, Jan. 11, when eighth blackbird takes the Annenberg Center stage as part of Penn Presents’ Classical Music Series.

—S.S.

EIGHTH BLACKBIRD: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, in Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St. Tickets $25, $20 and $15; discounts for students, seniors and Penn affiliates available. Tickets/info: www.pennpresents.org or 215-898-3900.

Originally published on December 13, 2001