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Vijay  Iyer

Born: Oct 26, 1971
Country of origin: United States of America

Composer-pianist VIJAY IYER (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) has carved out a unique path as an influential, prolific, shape-shifting presence in modern music. He was described by Pitchfork as "one of the best in the world at what he does," by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” by the New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.” A musical innovator, an active collaborator, and a member of multiple artistic communities, Iyer continues to reimagine the role of the musician in the 21st century. Iyer’s Uneasy, a trio recording made with his friends and collaborators Linda May Han Oh on bass and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, was released by ECM in April 2021 to wide acclaim, the Boston Globe calling it “extraordinary,” and noting it as “another entry in Iyer’s extensive oeuvre, reaffirming his status as one of the most creative figures in improvised music.”

Iyer has been voted DownBeat Magazine's Artist of the Year four times - in 2018, 2016, 2015 and 2012 - and Artist of the Year in Jazz Times' Critics' and Readers' Polls for 2017. Iyer was named a 2017 United States Artists Fellow, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. He holds a lifetime appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University, with a joint affiliation with the Department of Music and the Department of African and African American Studies.

The New York Times observed, “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” Iyer has released twenty-three albums covering remarkably diverse terrain, most recently for the ECM label. 2019 brings the release of The Transitory Poems, a live two-piano improvisation with Iyer’s longtime colleague and label-mate, Craig Taborn. Prior to that, Iyer’s sextet album Far From Over (2017) was ranked #1 in US National Public Radio's annual Jazz Critics' Poll, surveying 157 critics. It was named among the best jazz albums of the year in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Slate, and The New York Times, and the only “jazz release” in Rolling Stone’s list of the 50 best records of 2017. Iyer’s Sextet was voted 2018 Jazz Group of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Iyer’s previous ECM releases include A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke (2016), a collaboration with Iyer’s “hero, friend and teacher,” Wadada Leo Smith, which the Los Angeles Times calls “haunting, meditative and transportive”; Break Stuff (2015), with a coveted five-star rating in DownBeat Magazine, featuring the Vijay Iyer Trio, hailed by PopMatters as “the best band in jazz”; Mutations (2014), featuring Iyer’s music for piano, string quartet and electronics, which “extends and deepens his range… showing a delicate, shimmering, translucent side of his playing” (Chicago Tribune); and Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi (2014), “his most challenging and impressive work, the scintillating score to a compelling film by Prashant Bhargava” (DownBeat), performed by International Contemporary Ensemble and released on DVD and BluRay.

Even prior to the release of 2021’s Uneasy, Iyer’s trio had already made its name with three tremendously acclaimed and influential albums: Break Stuff (2015), Accelerando (2012) and Historicity (2009).  Accelerando was voted #1 Jazz Album of the Year for 2012 in three separate critics polls surveying hundreds of critics worldwide, hosted by DownBeat, Jazz Times, and Rhapsody, respectively, and also was chosen as jazz album of the year by NPR, the Los Angeles Times, PopMatters, and Amazon.com. The Vijay Iyer Trio was named 2015 Jazz Group of the year in the DownBeat International Critics Poll, with Iyer having earlier received an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the 2012 Downbeat Poll (winning Jazz Artist of the Year, Pianist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year, and Rising Star Composer categories), as well as a “quadruple crown” in the JazzTimes extended critics poll (winning Artist of the Year, Acoustic/Mainstream Group of the Year, Pianist of the Year, and Album of the Year). Iyer received the 2012 and 2013 Pianist of the Year Awards and the 2010 Musician of the Year Award from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2013 ECHO Award (the “German Grammy”) for best international pianist.  Historicity was a 2010 Grammy Nominee for Best Instrumental Jazz Album, and was named #1 Jazz Album of 2009 in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Metro Times, National Public Radio, PopMatters.com, the Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll, and the Downbeat International Critics Poll, and the trio won the 2010 ECHO Award for best international ensemble.

Iyer’s 2013 collaboration with poet Mike Ladd, Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project, based on the dreams of veterans of color from America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was hailed as #1 Jazz Album of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and described in JazzTimes as “impassioned, haunting, [and] affecting.” Along with their previous projects In What Language? (2004) and Still Life with Commentator (2007), Holding It Down rounded out a trilogy of politically searing albums about post-9/11 American life.  These projects were hailed as “unfailingly imaginative and significant” (JazzTimes) and praised for their “powerful narrative invention and ravishing trance-jazz... an eloquent tribute to the stubborn, regenerative powers of the human spirit” (Rolling Stone).

Iyer's musical accomplishments extend well beyond his recordings.  His recent composer commissions include “Crisis Modes” (2019) for the LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrellas Series; “Torque” (2018) written for So Percussion; “Asunder” (2017) written for Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; “Trouble” (2017) for Violin and Orchestra, written for Jennifer Koh and premiered at Ojai and Tanglewood Music Festivals; “City of Sand” (2017) for A Far Cry plus members of Silk Road Ensemble; “Run,” a solo cello overture to Bach’s Suite in C Major, written for Matt Haimovitz and recorded on his Overtures to Bach (2016); “Bridgetower Fantasy” (2015) for violin and piano, a companion piece to Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata, written for Ms. Koh and Shai Wosner; “Playlist for an Extreme Occasion” (2012) written for Silk Road Ensemble (and released on their 2013 album A Playlist without Borders); “Dig The Say,” written for Brooklyn Rider and released on their 2014 album Almanac; “Mozart Effects” (2011) and “Time, Place, Action” (2014) for Brentano String Quartet; “Bruits” (2014) for Imani Winds and pianist Cory Smythe; “Rimpa Transcriptions” (2012) written for Bang on a Can All-Stars; “UnEasy” (2011) commissioned by NYC’s Summerstage in collaboration with choreographer Karole Armitage; “Three Fragments” (2011) for Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society. His orchestral work Interventions was commissioned and premiered by the American Composers Orchestra in 2007 under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies.  It was praised by The New York Times as “all spiky and sonorous,” and by the Philadelphia City Paper for its “heft and dramatic vision and a daring sense of soundscape.”  Other works include Mutations I-X (2005) commissioned and premiered by the string quartet ETHEL; “Three Episodes for Wind Quintet” (1999) written for Imani Winds; a “ravishing” (Variety) score for the original theater/dance work Betrothed (2007); the award-winning film score for Teza (2008) by legendary filmmaker Haile Gerima; a suite of acoustic jazz cues for the sports channel ESPN (2009); and the prize-winning audiovisual installation Release (2010) in collaboration with filmmaker Bill Morrison.  Forthcoming commissions include pieces for Jennifer Koh, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and So Percussion. His concert works are published by Schott Music. An active electronic musician and producer, Iyer displays his digital audio artistry on his own recordings Still Life with Commentator, Holding it Down, Mutations, and Radhe Radhe, and in his remixes for British Asian electronica pioneer Talvin Singh, Islamic punk band The Kominas, and composer-performer Meredith Monk.

Iyer was voted the 2010 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, and named one of 2011’s “50 Most Influential Global Indians” by GQ India. Other honors include the Greenfield Prize, the Alpert Award in the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, the India Abroad Publisher’s Special Award for Excellence, and numerous critics’ prizes.

Iyer’s many collaborators include creative music pioneers Steve Coleman, Wadada Leo Smith, Roscoe Mitchell, Butch Morris, George Lewis, Amina Claudine Myers, William Parker, Graham Haynes, Miya Masaoka, Pamela Z, John Zorn; next-generation artists Rudresh Mahanthappa, Rez Abbasi, Craig Taborn, Ambrose Akinmusire, Liberty Ellman, Steve Lehman, Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey; Dead Prez, DJ Spooky, Himanshu Suri of Das Racist, HPrizm of Antipop Consortium, DJ Val Jeanty, Karsh Kale, Suphala, Imani Uzuri, and Talvin Singh; filmmakers Haile Gerima, Prashant Bhargava, and Bill Morrison; choreographer Karole Armitage; novelist and essayist Teju Cole; and poets Mike Ladd, Amiri Baraka, Charles Simic, and Robert Pinsky.

A polymath whose career has spanned the sciences, the humanities, and the arts, Iyer received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the cognitive science of music from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published in Journal of Consciousness Studies, Wire, Music Perception, JazzTimes, Journal of the Society for American Music, Critical Studies in Improvisation, in the anthologies Arcana IV, Sound Unbound, Uptown Conversation, The Best Writing on Mathematics: 2010, and The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies. Prior to his permanent appointment at Harvard in 2014, Iyer taught at Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the New School. Iyer has served as Artistic Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music since 2013. He has been featured as Artist-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Wigmore Hall (London), the Molde Jazz Festival (Molde, Norway), SF Jazz, and Jazz Middelheim (Antwerp, Belgium), and served as Music Director for the 2017 Ojai Music Festival in southern California. He will be the Composer-in-Residence at Wigmore Hall for 2019-20. He is a Steinway artist and uses Ableton Live software.

“There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” – The New York Times

“Trailblazing… one of his generation’s brightest jazz luminaries” – Time Out New York

“One of the world’s most inventive new-generation jazz pianists” – Guardian (UK)

“[one of] today’s most important pianists... extravagantly gifted... brilliantly eclectic” – The New Yorker

“The Vijay Iyer Trio has the potential to alter the scope, ambition and language of jazz piano forever.” – Jazzwise (UK)

“One of the best in the world at what he does” – Pitchfork

vijay-iyer.com 
twitter.com/vijayiyer 
facebook.com/vijayiyermusic

1971
Born October 26 in Albany, NY, USA.
1992
B.S., Yale University Mathematics & physics, magna cum laude; member, Phi Beta Kappa
1994
M.A., University of California at Berkeley Physics
1998
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley special interdisciplinary program in Technology and the Arts, with a focus on music and cognitive science.

Asian Improv Records relea
2000
"Conjectures", suite for piano, saxophone, and Indian percussion, jointly w/ R. Mahanthappa & T. Sankaran, premiered by Manodharma Trio (Iyer/Mahanthappa/Sankaran) at Chicago Cultural Center
2001
Receives Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund Grant for Sangha: Collaborative Fables

Recipient of a Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Commissioning Grant for "In W
2002
Receives New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artists Grant for "Blood Sutra
"

Recipient of a Creative Capital Project Grant for "In What Language?
"

"San
2003
Recipient of the CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts

Receives Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Grant for "Mutations" (commissioned by Ethel String Quartet)

"Blood S
2004
PI Recordings releases "In What Language?" featuring Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd

Receives Chamber Music America / Doris Duke Foundation: New Works: Creation & Presentation Grant
2005
Receives Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund Grant for "Still Life with Commentator
"

World Premiere of "Mutations I-X" for string quartet, piano & electronics by
2006
Receives New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship

Receives Meet-the-Composer Grant for "Betrothed", a theater work by Ripe Time Inc.

Named Rising Star Jazz Arti
2007
Named Rising Star Jazz Artist & Rising Star Composer of the Year, Downbeat Magazine International Critics' Poll

"Interventions", for chamber orchestra, improvising pianist & ele
2008
"Far from Over" commissioned for Chicago Jazz Festival


"Redemption Chant 2.0", an electronic work with text by Mike Ladd, featured on the compilation "Mendi + Keith Obadike Pre
2009
ACT Music + Vision releases "Historicity"

Named Rising Star Pianist, Downbeat Magazine International Critics' Poll

"Historicity" named #1 Jazz Album of the Year: V
2010
Awarded the 2010 ECHO Jazz Award (aka "German Grammy") for Best Ensemble International (Vijay Iyer Trio)

Winner: Album of the Year & Rising Star Jazz Group of the Year, Downbeat
2011
Receives India Abroad Publisher's Special Award for Excellence

Named Rising Star Jazz Group of the year, Downbeat International Critics Poll

"Mozart Effects", for
2012
Awarded the Greenfield Prize in the Arts

Recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award

Jazz Journalists Association names Iyer 2012 Pianist of the Year

Wi
2013
Awarded the 2013 ECHO Jazz Award for Best International Pianist

Jazz Journalists Association names Iyer 2013 Pianist of the Year

Named 2013 MacArthur Fellow
2014
Appointed as Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts, Harvard University Department of Music

Named DownBeat Magazine’s 2014 Pianist of the Year

"
2015
Annual German Record Critic's Award for the album "Break Stuff"

Violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist Shai Wosner give the premiere of Iyer's "Bridgetower Fantasy"

Ma
2016
Named Downbeat Magazine's 2016 Artist of the Year

per page
  1. Emergence

    Emergence

    for jazz trio and orchestra
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : jazz trio and orchestra
    Edition : performance material
  2. Time, Place, Action New

    Time, Place, Action

    for string quartet and piano
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : string quartet and piano
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 30379
    €178.50  *
  3. RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi

    RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi

    multimedia work for chamber ensemble and electronics
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : chamber ensemble and electronics
    Edition : performance material
  4. Dig the Say

    Dig the Say

    for string quartet
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : string quartet
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 30267
    €95.00  *
  5. Rimpa Transcriptions New

    Rimpa Transcriptions

    for clarinet, percussion, electric guitar, piano, cello and double bass
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : clarinet, percussion, electric guitar, piano, cello and double bass
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 30381
    €119.00  *
  6. Playlist for an Extreme Occasion

    Playlist for an Extreme Occasion

    for Galician gaita or piano, sheng, tabla, 2 percussionists, violin, and cello
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : Galician gaita or piano, sheng, tabla, 2 percussionists, violin, viola, and cello
    Edition : performance material
  7. Mozart Effects in preparation

    Mozart Effects

    for string quartet
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : string quartet
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 31324
    €71.50  *
  8. Interventions

    Interventions

    for chamber orchestra with improvising pianist and electronics
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : piano, chamber orchestra and electronics
    Edition : performance material
  9. Mutations I - X

    Mutations I - X

    for string quartet, piano and electronics
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : string quartet, piano and electronics
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 31316
    €69.00  *
  10. Bridgetower Fantasy

    Bridgetower Fantasy

    for violin and piano
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : violin and piano
    Order No. : ED 30264
    €90.00  *

per page
Profile

Composer-pianist VIJAY IYER (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) has carved out a unique path as an influential, prolific, shape-shifting presence in modern music. He was described by Pitchfork as "one of the best in the world at what he does," by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” by the New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.” A musical innovator, an active collaborator, and a member of multiple artistic communities, Iyer continues to reimagine the role of the musician in the 21st century. Iyer’s Uneasy, a trio recording made with his friends and collaborators Linda May Han Oh on bass and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, was released by ECM in April 2021 to wide acclaim, the Boston Globe calling it “extraordinary,” and noting it as “another entry in Iyer’s extensive oeuvre, reaffirming his status as one of the most creative figures in improvised music.”

Iyer has been voted DownBeat Magazine's Artist of the Year four times - in 2018, 2016, 2015 and 2012 - and Artist of the Year in Jazz Times' Critics' and Readers' Polls for 2017. Iyer was named a 2017 United States Artists Fellow, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. He holds a lifetime appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University, with a joint affiliation with the Department of Music and the Department of African and African American Studies.

The New York Times observed, “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” Iyer has released twenty-three albums covering remarkably diverse terrain, most recently for the ECM label. 2019 brings the release of The Transitory Poems, a live two-piano improvisation with Iyer’s longtime colleague and label-mate, Craig Taborn. Prior to that, Iyer’s sextet album Far From Over (2017) was ranked #1 in US National Public Radio's annual Jazz Critics' Poll, surveying 157 critics. It was named among the best jazz albums of the year in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Slate, and The New York Times, and the only “jazz release” in Rolling Stone’s list of the 50 best records of 2017. Iyer’s Sextet was voted 2018 Jazz Group of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Iyer’s previous ECM releases include A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke (2016), a collaboration with Iyer’s “hero, friend and teacher,” Wadada Leo Smith, which the Los Angeles Times calls “haunting, meditative and transportive”; Break Stuff (2015), with a coveted five-star rating in DownBeat Magazine, featuring the Vijay Iyer Trio, hailed by PopMatters as “the best band in jazz”; Mutations (2014), featuring Iyer’s music for piano, string quartet and electronics, which “extends and deepens his range… showing a delicate, shimmering, translucent side of his playing” (Chicago Tribune); and Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi (2014), “his most challenging and impressive work, the scintillating score to a compelling film by Prashant Bhargava” (DownBeat), performed by International Contemporary Ensemble and released on DVD and BluRay.

Even prior to the release of 2021’s Uneasy, Iyer’s trio had already made its name with three tremendously acclaimed and influential albums: Break Stuff (2015), Accelerando (2012) and Historicity (2009).  Accelerando was voted #1 Jazz Album of the Year for 2012 in three separate critics polls surveying hundreds of critics worldwide, hosted by DownBeat, Jazz Times, and Rhapsody, respectively, and also was chosen as jazz album of the year by NPR, the Los Angeles Times, PopMatters, and Amazon.com. The Vijay Iyer Trio was named 2015 Jazz Group of the year in the DownBeat International Critics Poll, with Iyer having earlier received an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the 2012 Downbeat Poll (winning Jazz Artist of the Year, Pianist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year, and Rising Star Composer categories), as well as a “quadruple crown” in the JazzTimes extended critics poll (winning Artist of the Year, Acoustic/Mainstream Group of the Year, Pianist of the Year, and Album of the Year). Iyer received the 2012 and 2013 Pianist of the Year Awards and the 2010 Musician of the Year Award from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2013 ECHO Award (the “German Grammy”) for best international pianist.  Historicity was a 2010 Grammy Nominee for Best Instrumental Jazz Album, and was named #1 Jazz Album of 2009 in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Metro Times, National Public Radio, PopMatters.com, the Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll, and the Downbeat International Critics Poll, and the trio won the 2010 ECHO Award for best international ensemble.

Iyer’s 2013 collaboration with poet Mike Ladd, Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project, based on the dreams of veterans of color from America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was hailed as #1 Jazz Album of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and described in JazzTimes as “impassioned, haunting, [and] affecting.” Along with their previous projects In What Language? (2004) and Still Life with Commentator (2007), Holding It Down rounded out a trilogy of politically searing albums about post-9/11 American life.  These projects were hailed as “unfailingly imaginative and significant” (JazzTimes) and praised for their “powerful narrative invention and ravishing trance-jazz... an eloquent tribute to the stubborn, regenerative powers of the human spirit” (Rolling Stone).

Iyer's musical accomplishments extend well beyond his recordings.  His recent composer commissions include “Crisis Modes” (2019) for the LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrellas Series; “Torque” (2018) written for So Percussion; “Asunder” (2017) written for Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; “Trouble” (2017) for Violin and Orchestra, written for Jennifer Koh and premiered at Ojai and Tanglewood Music Festivals; “City of Sand” (2017) for A Far Cry plus members of Silk Road Ensemble; “Run,” a solo cello overture to Bach’s Suite in C Major, written for Matt Haimovitz and recorded on his Overtures to Bach (2016); “Bridgetower Fantasy” (2015) for violin and piano, a companion piece to Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata, written for Ms. Koh and Shai Wosner; “Playlist for an Extreme Occasion” (2012) written for Silk Road Ensemble (and released on their 2013 album A Playlist without Borders); “Dig The Say,” written for Brooklyn Rider and released on their 2014 album Almanac; “Mozart Effects” (2011) and “Time, Place, Action” (2014) for Brentano String Quartet; “Bruits” (2014) for Imani Winds and pianist Cory Smythe; “Rimpa Transcriptions” (2012) written for Bang on a Can All-Stars; “UnEasy” (2011) commissioned by NYC’s Summerstage in collaboration with choreographer Karole Armitage; “Three Fragments” (2011) for Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society. His orchestral work Interventions was commissioned and premiered by the American Composers Orchestra in 2007 under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies.  It was praised by The New York Times as “all spiky and sonorous,” and by the Philadelphia City Paper for its “heft and dramatic vision and a daring sense of soundscape.”  Other works include Mutations I-X (2005) commissioned and premiered by the string quartet ETHEL; “Three Episodes for Wind Quintet” (1999) written for Imani Winds; a “ravishing” (Variety) score for the original theater/dance work Betrothed (2007); the award-winning film score for Teza (2008) by legendary filmmaker Haile Gerima; a suite of acoustic jazz cues for the sports channel ESPN (2009); and the prize-winning audiovisual installation Release (2010) in collaboration with filmmaker Bill Morrison.  Forthcoming commissions include pieces for Jennifer Koh, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and So Percussion. His concert works are published by Schott Music. An active electronic musician and producer, Iyer displays his digital audio artistry on his own recordings Still Life with Commentator, Holding it Down, Mutations, and Radhe Radhe, and in his remixes for British Asian electronica pioneer Talvin Singh, Islamic punk band The Kominas, and composer-performer Meredith Monk.

Iyer was voted the 2010 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, and named one of 2011’s “50 Most Influential Global Indians” by GQ India. Other honors include the Greenfield Prize, the Alpert Award in the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, the India Abroad Publisher’s Special Award for Excellence, and numerous critics’ prizes.

Iyer’s many collaborators include creative music pioneers Steve Coleman, Wadada Leo Smith, Roscoe Mitchell, Butch Morris, George Lewis, Amina Claudine Myers, William Parker, Graham Haynes, Miya Masaoka, Pamela Z, John Zorn; next-generation artists Rudresh Mahanthappa, Rez Abbasi, Craig Taborn, Ambrose Akinmusire, Liberty Ellman, Steve Lehman, Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey; Dead Prez, DJ Spooky, Himanshu Suri of Das Racist, HPrizm of Antipop Consortium, DJ Val Jeanty, Karsh Kale, Suphala, Imani Uzuri, and Talvin Singh; filmmakers Haile Gerima, Prashant Bhargava, and Bill Morrison; choreographer Karole Armitage; novelist and essayist Teju Cole; and poets Mike Ladd, Amiri Baraka, Charles Simic, and Robert Pinsky.

A polymath whose career has spanned the sciences, the humanities, and the arts, Iyer received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the cognitive science of music from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published in Journal of Consciousness Studies, Wire, Music Perception, JazzTimes, Journal of the Society for American Music, Critical Studies in Improvisation, in the anthologies Arcana IV, Sound Unbound, Uptown Conversation, The Best Writing on Mathematics: 2010, and The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies. Prior to his permanent appointment at Harvard in 2014, Iyer taught at Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the New School. Iyer has served as Artistic Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music since 2013. He has been featured as Artist-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Wigmore Hall (London), the Molde Jazz Festival (Molde, Norway), SF Jazz, and Jazz Middelheim (Antwerp, Belgium), and served as Music Director for the 2017 Ojai Music Festival in southern California. He will be the Composer-in-Residence at Wigmore Hall for 2019-20. He is a Steinway artist and uses Ableton Live software.

“There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” – The New York Times

“Trailblazing… one of his generation’s brightest jazz luminaries” – Time Out New York

“One of the world’s most inventive new-generation jazz pianists” – Guardian (UK)

“[one of] today’s most important pianists... extravagantly gifted... brilliantly eclectic” – The New Yorker

“The Vijay Iyer Trio has the potential to alter the scope, ambition and language of jazz piano forever.” – Jazzwise (UK)

“One of the best in the world at what he does” – Pitchfork

vijay-iyer.com 
twitter.com/vijayiyer 
facebook.com/vijayiyermusic

Works
Chronology
1971
Born October 26 in Albany, NY, USA.
1992
B.S., Yale University Mathematics & physics, magna cum laude; member, Phi Beta Kappa
1994
M.A., University of California at Berkeley Physics
1998
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley special interdisciplinary program in Technology and the Arts, with a focus on music and cognitive science.

Asian Improv Records relea
2000
"Conjectures", suite for piano, saxophone, and Indian percussion, jointly w/ R. Mahanthappa & T. Sankaran, premiered by Manodharma Trio (Iyer/Mahanthappa/Sankaran) at Chicago Cultural Center
2001
Receives Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund Grant for Sangha: Collaborative Fables

Recipient of a Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Commissioning Grant for "In W
2002
Receives New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artists Grant for "Blood Sutra
"

Recipient of a Creative Capital Project Grant for "In What Language?
"

"San
2003
Recipient of the CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts

Receives Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Grant for "Mutations" (commissioned by Ethel String Quartet)

"Blood S
2004
PI Recordings releases "In What Language?" featuring Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd

Receives Chamber Music America / Doris Duke Foundation: New Works: Creation & Presentation Grant
2005
Receives Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund Grant for "Still Life with Commentator
"

World Premiere of "Mutations I-X" for string quartet, piano & electronics by
2006
Receives New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship

Receives Meet-the-Composer Grant for "Betrothed", a theater work by Ripe Time Inc.

Named Rising Star Jazz Arti
2007
Named Rising Star Jazz Artist & Rising Star Composer of the Year, Downbeat Magazine International Critics' Poll

"Interventions", for chamber orchestra, improvising pianist & ele
2008
"Far from Over" commissioned for Chicago Jazz Festival


"Redemption Chant 2.0", an electronic work with text by Mike Ladd, featured on the compilation "Mendi + Keith Obadike Pre
2009
ACT Music + Vision releases "Historicity"

Named Rising Star Pianist, Downbeat Magazine International Critics' Poll

"Historicity" named #1 Jazz Album of the Year: V
2010
Awarded the 2010 ECHO Jazz Award (aka "German Grammy") for Best Ensemble International (Vijay Iyer Trio)

Winner: Album of the Year & Rising Star Jazz Group of the Year, Downbeat
2011
Receives India Abroad Publisher's Special Award for Excellence

Named Rising Star Jazz Group of the year, Downbeat International Critics Poll

"Mozart Effects", for
2012
Awarded the Greenfield Prize in the Arts

Recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award

Jazz Journalists Association names Iyer 2012 Pianist of the Year

Wi
2013
Awarded the 2013 ECHO Jazz Award for Best International Pianist

Jazz Journalists Association names Iyer 2013 Pianist of the Year

Named 2013 MacArthur Fellow
2014
Appointed as Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts, Harvard University Department of Music

Named DownBeat Magazine’s 2014 Pianist of the Year

"
2015
Annual German Record Critic's Award for the album "Break Stuff"

Violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist Shai Wosner give the premiere of Iyer's "Bridgetower Fantasy"

Ma
2016
Named Downbeat Magazine's 2016 Artist of the Year
Gallery Products

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  1. Emergence

    Emergence

    for jazz trio and orchestra
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : jazz trio and orchestra
    Edition : performance material
  2. Time, Place, Action New

    Time, Place, Action

    for string quartet and piano
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : string quartet and piano
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 30379
    €178.50  *
  3. RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi

    RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi

    multimedia work for chamber ensemble and electronics
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : chamber ensemble and electronics
    Edition : performance material
  4. Dig the Say

    Dig the Say

    for string quartet
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : string quartet
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 30267
    €95.00  *
  5. Rimpa Transcriptions New

    Rimpa Transcriptions

    for clarinet, percussion, electric guitar, piano, cello and double bass
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : clarinet, percussion, electric guitar, piano, cello and double bass
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 30381
    €119.00  *
  6. Playlist for an Extreme Occasion

    Playlist for an Extreme Occasion

    for Galician gaita or piano, sheng, tabla, 2 percussionists, violin, and cello
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : Galician gaita or piano, sheng, tabla, 2 percussionists, violin, viola, and cello
    Edition : performance material
  7. Mozart Effects in preparation

    Mozart Effects

    for string quartet
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : string quartet
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 31324
    €71.50  *
  8. Interventions

    Interventions

    for chamber orchestra with improvising pianist and electronics
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : piano, chamber orchestra and electronics
    Edition : performance material
  9. Mutations I - X

    Mutations I - X

    for string quartet, piano and electronics
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : string quartet, piano and electronics
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 31316
    €69.00  *
  10. Bridgetower Fantasy

    Bridgetower Fantasy

    for violin and piano
    Composer : Iyer, Vijay
    Instrumentation : violin and piano
    Order No. : ED 30264
    €90.00  *

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