Photo by Barbara Rigon

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Vijay Iyer, piano/composer

Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer has been voted DownBeat magazine's Artist of the Year for 2018, 2016, 2015, and 2012. He received a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. He has released 21 albums, including A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke in duo with legendary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork; Break Stuff with the Vijay Iyer Trio, winner of the German Record Critics’ Award for Album of the Year; the live score to the film Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project, a searing collaboration with poet-performer Mike Ladd, named Album of the Year in the Los Angeles Times.

Mr. Iyer's compositions have been commissioned and premiered by Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, So Percussion, American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Orpheus Ensemble, Matt Haimowitz, and Jennifer Koh. Mr. Iyer has performed, recorded, and collaborated with musical pioneers Steve Coleman, George Lewis, Butch Morris, Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Dr. L. Subramaniam, Steve Lehman, Craig Taborn, Oliver Lake, Ambrose Akinmusire, Tyshawn Sorey, Matana Roberts, poets Amiri Baraka and Mike Ladd, novelist Teju Cole, and rapper Himanshu Suri.

Mr. Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. He is also Artistic Director of the Banff Centre’s International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, the 2015–16 Artist-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Musical Director for the 2017 Ojai Festival.