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Vijay  Iyer

Born: October 26th, 1971
Country of origin: United States of America
Upcoming :
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-08 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-08 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl

“Trailblazing… one of his generations brightest jazz luminaries” - Time Out New York

“Presto! Here is the great new jazz piano trio.” - The New York Times

“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

Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) was described by Pitchfork as "one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today," by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.” He was named DownBeat Magazine's 2016 and 2015 Artist of the Year and 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. In 2014 he began a permanent appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University.

The New York Times observes, “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” Iyer has released twenty albums covering remarkably diverse terrain, most recently for the ECM label. The latest include 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.

Iyer’s trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass) made its name with two tremendously acclaimed and influential albums, 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. Iyer received an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the 2012 DownBeat International Critics 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), 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), 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 accomplishments extend well beyond his recordings. His recent composer commissions include Emergence (2016), for jazz trio and orchestra, premiered by the NFM Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra; Bridgetower Fantasy (2015) for violinist Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner; Run (2015) for cellist Matt Haimovitz; 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 exclusively by Schott Music Corporation worldwide. 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, High Priest 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; 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 in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies. Iyer has taught at Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the New School, and he is the Director of The Banff Centre’s International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, an annual 3-week program in Alberta, Canada. Iyer recently finished a multi-year residency with San Francisco Performances, cultivating new audiences and working with schools and community organizations. He is a Steinway artist and uses Ableton Live software.

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 releases "Architextures"
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

"Three Episodes for Wind Quintet" premiered by Imani Winds

Awarded Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund Grant for the Manodharma Trio
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 What Language?
"

Red Giant Records releases "Panoptic Modes"
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?
"

"Sangha: Collaborative Fables", a suite of eleven pieces for piano & saxophone, jointly with R. Mahanthappa, premiered by Raw Materials (Iyer/Mahanthappa duo) at The Jazz Gallery, NYC

Pi Recordings releases "Your Life Flashes", featuring Fieldwork (Vijay Iyer, piano; Steve Lehman, saxophone; Tyshawn Sorey, drums)
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 Sutra", Vijay Iyer, Artists House Foundation
2004
PI Recordings releases "In What Language?" featuring Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd

Receives Chamber Music America / Doris Duke Foundation: New Works: Creation & Presentation Grant

Receives Up & Coming Musician of the Year Award, Jazz Journalists Association’s 8th Annual Jazz Awards

Jazzwise Magazine & Music Magazine name "In What Language?" Album of the Year
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 Vijay Iyer and the Ethel String Quartet


Savoy Jazz releases "Reimagining"

Pi Recordings releases "Simulated Progress", featuring Fieldwork (Vijay Iyer, piano; Steve Lehman, saxophone; Tyshawn Sorey, drums)
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 Artist & Rising Star Composer of the Year, Downbeat Magazine International Critics' Poll

Savoy Jazz releases "Raw Materials", featuring Vijay Iyer & Rudresh Mahanthappa
2007
Named Rising Star Jazz Artist & Rising Star Composer of the Year, Downbeat Magazine International Critics' Poll

"Interventions", for chamber orchestra, improvising pianist & electronics commissioned and premiered by the American Composers Orchestra with conductor Dennis Russell Davies

"Betrothed", an original score to 75-minute theatre work created by Rachel Dickstein, premiered by Ripe Time Theater Company at Ohio Theater, NYC

"Teza", original score for a feature film by Haile Gerima, jointly with J. Mesfin

Savoy Jazz releases 
"Still Life with Commentator"
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 Present: Crosstalk" (Bridge Records)

Pi Recordings releases "Door", featuring Fieldwork (Vijay Iyer, piano; Steve Lehman, saxophone; Tyshawn Sorey, drums)

Sunnyside Records releases "Tragicomic"
2009
ACT Music + Vision releases "Historicity"

Named Rising Star Pianist, Downbeat Magazine International Critics' Poll

"Historicity" named #1 Jazz Album of the Year: Village Voice Critics' Poll, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Metro-Times, PopMatters, NPR, others

"Bright Lights" collection for jazz quintet commissioned by ESPN
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 Magazine International Critics Poll

Named Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards

Grammy nominee, Best Jazz Instrumental Album

World Premiere of "Release", a joint installation work with Bill Morrison, commissioned by Eastern State Penitentiary historical site

"Playlist 1 (Resonance)" premiered by violinist Cornelius Dufallo

ACT Music + Vision releases "Solo"
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 string quartet, commissioned and premiered by the Brentano String Quartet

"UnEasy", a collaboration with choreographer Karole Armitage, commissioned and premiered by Central Park Summerstage

ACT Music + Vision releases "Tirtha", featuring Prasanna & Nitin Mitta
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

Winner: Artist of the Year, Acoustic/Mainstream Group of the Year, Pianist of the Year & Album of the Year, JazzTimes extended critics poll

Winner: Artist of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year, Album of the Year, & Pianist of the Year, Downbeat Magazine International Critics Poll

"Playlist for an Extreme Occasion" commissioned and premiered by the Silk Road Ensemble

"Dig the Say", for string quartet, commissioned and premiered by the Brooklyn Rider String Quartet

"Rimpa Transcriptions", for chamber ensemble, commissioned and premiere by the Bang on a Can All-Stars

ACT Music + Vision releases "Accelerando", featuring the Vijay Iyer Trio
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

World Premiere of "RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi" with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) as part of Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project" released from PI Recordings
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

"Bruits", for string quartet and piano, premieres with pianist Cory Smythe and the Imani Winds, commissioned by The Greenfield Prize at the Hermitage Artist Retreat

"Time, Place, Actions", a string quartet commissioned by Da Camera of Houston and 92nd St. Y, premieres with the Brentano String Quartet

ECM Records releases "Mutations", with works for piano, string quartet and electronics

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) presents "VIJAY IYER: Music of Transformation", a multimedia event celebrating the music of composer and pianist Vijay Iyer.
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"

Matt Haimovitz debuts Iyer's "Run" for solo cello and Columbia University's Miller Theatre.
2016
Named Downbeat Magazine's 2016 Artist of the Year
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-08 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-08 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
2017-06-09 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
2017-06-10 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-10 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
2017-06-10 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-15 | Berkeley, CA (United States of America), Zellerbach Hall
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-15 | Berkeley, CA (United States of America), Zellerbach Hall
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-17 | Berkeley, CA (United States of America), Zellerbach Hall
Conductor: Eric Jacobsen
Orchestra: The Knights
2017-07-13 | Lenox, MA (United States of America), Seiji Ozawa Hall

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Profile

“Trailblazing… one of his generations brightest jazz luminaries” - Time Out New York

“Presto! Here is the great new jazz piano trio.” - The New York Times

“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

Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) was described by Pitchfork as "one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today," by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.” He was named DownBeat Magazine's 2016 and 2015 Artist of the Year and 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. In 2014 he began a permanent appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University.

The New York Times observes, “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” Iyer has released twenty albums covering remarkably diverse terrain, most recently for the ECM label. The latest include 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.

Iyer’s trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass) made its name with two tremendously acclaimed and influential albums, 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. Iyer received an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the 2012 DownBeat International Critics 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), 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), 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 accomplishments extend well beyond his recordings. His recent composer commissions include Emergence (2016), for jazz trio and orchestra, premiered by the NFM Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra; Bridgetower Fantasy (2015) for violinist Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner; Run (2015) for cellist Matt Haimovitz; 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 exclusively by Schott Music Corporation worldwide. 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, High Priest 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; 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 in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies. Iyer has taught at Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the New School, and he is the Director of The Banff Centre’s International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, an annual 3-week program in Alberta, Canada. Iyer recently finished a multi-year residency with San Francisco Performances, cultivating new audiences and working with schools and community organizations. He is a Steinway artist and uses Ableton Live software.

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 releases "Architextures"
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

"Three Episodes for Wind Quintet" premiered by Imani Winds

Awarded Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund Grant for the Manodharma Trio
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 What Language?
"

Red Giant Records releases "Panoptic Modes"
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?
"

"Sangha: Collaborative Fables", a suite of eleven pieces for piano & saxophone, jointly with R. Mahanthappa, premiered by Raw Materials (Iyer/Mahanthappa duo) at The Jazz Gallery, NYC

Pi Recordings releases "Your Life Flashes", featuring Fieldwork (Vijay Iyer, piano; Steve Lehman, saxophone; Tyshawn Sorey, drums)
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 Sutra", Vijay Iyer, Artists House Foundation
2004
PI Recordings releases "In What Language?" featuring Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd

Receives Chamber Music America / Doris Duke Foundation: New Works: Creation & Presentation Grant

Receives Up & Coming Musician of the Year Award, Jazz Journalists Association’s 8th Annual Jazz Awards

Jazzwise Magazine & Music Magazine name "In What Language?" Album of the Year
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 Vijay Iyer and the Ethel String Quartet


Savoy Jazz releases "Reimagining"

Pi Recordings releases "Simulated Progress", featuring Fieldwork (Vijay Iyer, piano; Steve Lehman, saxophone; Tyshawn Sorey, drums)
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 Artist & Rising Star Composer of the Year, Downbeat Magazine International Critics' Poll

Savoy Jazz releases "Raw Materials", featuring Vijay Iyer & Rudresh Mahanthappa
2007
Named Rising Star Jazz Artist & Rising Star Composer of the Year, Downbeat Magazine International Critics' Poll

"Interventions", for chamber orchestra, improvising pianist & electronics commissioned and premiered by the American Composers Orchestra with conductor Dennis Russell Davies

"Betrothed", an original score to 75-minute theatre work created by Rachel Dickstein, premiered by Ripe Time Theater Company at Ohio Theater, NYC

"Teza", original score for a feature film by Haile Gerima, jointly with J. Mesfin

Savoy Jazz releases 
"Still Life with Commentator"
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 Present: Crosstalk" (Bridge Records)

Pi Recordings releases "Door", featuring Fieldwork (Vijay Iyer, piano; Steve Lehman, saxophone; Tyshawn Sorey, drums)

Sunnyside Records releases "Tragicomic"
2009
ACT Music + Vision releases "Historicity"

Named Rising Star Pianist, Downbeat Magazine International Critics' Poll

"Historicity" named #1 Jazz Album of the Year: Village Voice Critics' Poll, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Metro-Times, PopMatters, NPR, others

"Bright Lights" collection for jazz quintet commissioned by ESPN
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 Magazine International Critics Poll

Named Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards

Grammy nominee, Best Jazz Instrumental Album

World Premiere of "Release", a joint installation work with Bill Morrison, commissioned by Eastern State Penitentiary historical site

"Playlist 1 (Resonance)" premiered by violinist Cornelius Dufallo

ACT Music + Vision releases "Solo"
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 string quartet, commissioned and premiered by the Brentano String Quartet

"UnEasy", a collaboration with choreographer Karole Armitage, commissioned and premiered by Central Park Summerstage

ACT Music + Vision releases "Tirtha", featuring Prasanna & Nitin Mitta
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

Winner: Artist of the Year, Acoustic/Mainstream Group of the Year, Pianist of the Year & Album of the Year, JazzTimes extended critics poll

Winner: Artist of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year, Album of the Year, & Pianist of the Year, Downbeat Magazine International Critics Poll

"Playlist for an Extreme Occasion" commissioned and premiered by the Silk Road Ensemble

"Dig the Say", for string quartet, commissioned and premiered by the Brooklyn Rider String Quartet

"Rimpa Transcriptions", for chamber ensemble, commissioned and premiere by the Bang on a Can All-Stars

ACT Music + Vision releases "Accelerando", featuring the Vijay Iyer Trio
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

World Premiere of "RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi" with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) as part of Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project" released from PI Recordings
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

"Bruits", for string quartet and piano, premieres with pianist Cory Smythe and the Imani Winds, commissioned by The Greenfield Prize at the Hermitage Artist Retreat

"Time, Place, Actions", a string quartet commissioned by Da Camera of Houston and 92nd St. Y, premieres with the Brentano String Quartet

ECM Records releases "Mutations", with works for piano, string quartet and electronics

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) presents "VIJAY IYER: Music of Transformation", a multimedia event celebrating the music of composer and pianist Vijay Iyer.
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"

Matt Haimovitz debuts Iyer's "Run" for solo cello and Columbia University's Miller Theatre.
2016
Named Downbeat Magazine's 2016 Artist of the Year
Performances
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-08 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-08 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
2017-06-09 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
2017-06-10 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-10 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
2017-06-10 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-15 | Berkeley, CA (United States of America), Zellerbach Hall
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-15 | Berkeley, CA (United States of America), Zellerbach Hall
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble
2017-06-17 | Berkeley, CA (United States of America), Zellerbach Hall
Conductor: Eric Jacobsen
Orchestra: The Knights
2017-07-13 | Lenox, MA (United States of America), Seiji Ozawa Hall
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