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eighth blackbird wins Meadows Prize

eighth blackbird, the Grammy Award-winning new music sextet, has been awarded the new Meadows Prize by Southern Methodist University, one of Texas’s most prestigious academic institutions. Named for philanthropists Algur H. and Virginia Meadows, the prize, which was established in August 2009, is given to “professionals with an emerging international profile” and may be given to as many as four recipients each year.


An SMU press release states:

“The [Meadows] prize includes housing for a one-to-three-month residency in Dallas, transportation expenses, studio/office space and project costs, in addition to a substantial prize/stipend. In return, recipients will be expected to interact in a substantive way with Meadows students and to leave a lasting legacy in Dallas. 

eighth blackbird is committed to nurturing a new generation of artists, and as part of the prize the ensemble will work with music students at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and other local schools, as well as in the wider community.

The Meadows Prize is also intended to help spark a local, sustainable contemporary and fringe arts scene in Dallas. Its creation coincided with the opening of the AT&T Performing Arts Center on October 12, an event that marked the completion of one of the world’s largest arts districts and that brings vibrancy to the downtown Dallas area.  As part of this goal, eighth blackbird will curate a new music series in partnership with the Dallas Arts District. Dallas’s new AT&T Performing Arts Center, which opened this week, is the center of a revived arts scene in the downtown area.

“This is a huge honor,” says Tim Munro, eighth blackbird’s flutist. “SMU’s School of the Arts has a strong national reputation with a distinguished faculty, and the AT&T center looks amazing. We can’t wait to get our feet wet in this fascinating project!”

eighth blackbird was nominated for the Meadows Prize by a committee including choreographer Paul Taylor, producer/director James Houghton, composer John Zorn and actor Laura Linney.  The other recipient is CreativeTime, an artist collective and arts consulting group.

eighth blackbird, currently in residence at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School, moves shortly to its recurring residency at the University of Richmond (VA).  The ensemble will also be in residence at Philadelphia’s esteemed Curtis Institute of Music in February. In the near future eighth blackbird plays concerts in Chicago, Louisville, La Jolla, San Diego, Cincinnati and elsewhere.  Details at


© 21C Media Group, October 2009

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