Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer 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.” His most recent honors include a 2013 MacArthur fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the 2012 Down Beat International Critics Poll (winning in the Jazz Artist of the Year, Pianist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year, and Rising Star Composer categories).
March 2014 marks the release of Mutations, Iyer’s 18th album and his debut for the ECM label. The album is a recording for piano, string quartet, and electronics, the first document of his works for chamber ensembles.
Iyer has collaborated with a long list of accomplished musicians, including Steve Coleman, Wadada Leo Smith, Roscoe Mitchell, Butch Morris, George Lewis, Amina Claudine Myers, William Parker, Graham Haynes, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Craig Taborn, John Zorn, and DJ Spooky.
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. 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. In 2014 he began a permanent appointment at Harvard University’s Department of Music, as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts.