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Blackbird Creative Lab Announces 2023 Cohort

Twenty composers and performers of contemporary music will take part in the prestigious two-week program


Run by Eight Blackbird, the Blackbird Creative Lab is a two-week immersive program for composers and performers of contemporary classical music. In 2023, the prestigious program will take place between May 21 and June 4 at the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.

Each year, up to twenty artists (comprised of both composers and performers) are selected to participate in the Lab. The selected artists receive the opportunity to rehearse and play side-by-side with the members of Eighth Blackbird and participate in daily coaching sessions, salons, workshops, and presentations with faculty, guest artists, and field leaders.

Alongside rehearsing and performing, the artists receive practical support in developing entrepreneurial skills, with an emphasis on curating, branding, and promoting their work in the modern world.

The selected artists for the 2023 Lab are as follows:


  • Ethan Cowburn, percussion
  • Noelia Cruz, violin
  • Tyler Eschendal, composer
  • Claudia Fuller, violin
  • Andres Guerra, guitar
  • Max Hammond, piano
  • Noel Holloway, percussion
  • Michelle Hromin, clarinet,
  • Asuka Kakitani, composer
  • Daniel Knapp, cello
  • Alexandra Koi, voice
  • Wenbin Lyu, composer
  • Sophie Mathieu, composer
  • Ceridwen McCooey, cello
  • Anna Murray, composer
  • Christian Quiñones, composer
  • Eliza Shepard, flute
  • Kathryn Sloat, harp
  • Aris Sussman, composer
  • Kathryn Vetter, clarinet


In 2023, the Lab's faculty are composers Joan Tower, Jonathan Bailey Holland, and Viet Cuong; media artist Pamela Z, and director Christopher Murrah.


upcoming events

june 2024

06junAll Day13Khachaturian International Violin Competition(All Day) Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, 46 Mesrop Mashtots Ave, Yerevan, ArmeniaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsKhachaturian International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

08junAll Day16Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition(All Day) Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre, Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio, 1, 42121 Reggio Emilia RE, Italy Event Type :competitions Event TagsPremio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition,string quartet competitionFOLLOW

17junAll Day22Primrose International Viola Competition(All Day) Colburn School, 200 S Grand AveEvent Type :competitions Event TagsPrimrose International Viola Competition,Primrose Viola CompetitionFOLLOW

july 2024

16julAll Day27Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello & Baroque Cello Competition(All Day) Thomaskirche Leipzig, Thomaskirchhof, Thomaskirchhof 18, 04109 Leipzig, GermanyEvent Type :competitions Event TagsBaroque Cello Competition,Cello Competition,Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello CompetitionFOLLOW


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