Blackbird fly

The University of Nevada, Reno’s Performing Arts Series closes its 2005-2006 season with a concert by eighth blackbird. Critics praise this new music sextet for their virtuosic playing and theatrical flair. The ensemble, which holds residencies at the University of Richmond in Virginia and the University of Chicago, has commissioned works by contemporary composers such as George Perle, Frederic Rzewski and Joseph Schwantner and has been active in teaching young artists about contemporary music. Since forming in 1996, they have released three critically acclaimed CDs on the Cedille Records label. Their fourth album, strange, imaginary animals, is due for release later this year. Eighth blackbird and soprano Lucy Shelton will perform Arnold Schoenberg’s composition, Pierrot Lunaire, at next week’s concert. The seminal work, which Schoenberg debuted in 1912, combines elements of music and theater. The concert begins 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Nightingale Concert Hall inside the Church Fine Arts Building at UNR. Tickets are $5-$20. Call 784-4046.