The Grammy Award winner and co-founder of Eighth Blackbird will become professor of chamber music and eminent scholar from August 2023


Cellist Nick Photinos © Joe Mazza

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The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) has named cellist and alumnus Nick Photinos as its new professor of chamber music and eminent scholar. Photinos will begin the role on 15 August 2023.

The title of Ohio eminent scholar is awarded to musicians who have achieved national and international prominence. Photinos has won four Grammy Awards and is co-founder of the Eighth Blackbird ensemble. He has received Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year Award, the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, the inaugural Chamber Music America Visionary Award, the Naumburg Award and the Concert Artists Guild Grand Prize. He succeeds professor emeritus James Tocco as eminent scholar, a pianist who served on the college’s faculty from 1991-2021.

’I am incredibly excited and honored to return to CCM as eminent scholar in chamber music, the position previously held by James Tocco,’ said Photinos. ’James was crucial to the early years of Eighth Blackbird, the ensemble I co-founded in 1996 and was with for 24 years: after our formation at Oberlin Conservatory as undergrads, we were lucky enough to meet James as Shouse artists at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival.’

Eighth Blackbird was formed at Oberlin College, but its members enrolled in CCM’s artist diploma in chamber music programme from 1997, following encouragement from Tocco and Henry Meyer, CCM faculty member and founding member of the LaSalle Quartet.

In his new role as professor of chamber music and eminent scholar, Photinos will be responsible for overseeing, developing and participating in chamber music opportunities at CCM. His areas of focus as eminent scholar will include chamber music coaching, curriculum, concerts, competitions and community partnerships. Photinos will also develop, teach and promote CCM courses and programmes in entrepreneurship, innovation and professional development.

Prior to his new CCM faculty appointment, Photinos previously served on the faculties of the Longy School of Music of Bard College, the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. He is faculty at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival and performs in the Grossman Ensemble at the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, CCM and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

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