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 twenty-one albums, including A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) in duo with legendary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork; Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) 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 (ECM, 2014) by celebrated filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013), a searing collaboration with poet-performer Mike Ladd, named Album of the Year in the Los Angeles Times.
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. His concert works are published by Schott Music. 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.
Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. He is also the 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. He holds a doctorate in music cognition from University of California, Berkeley, and his writings have appeared in Journal of Consciousness Studies, Wire, Music Perception, JazzTimes, Journal of the Society for American Music, Critical Studies in Improvisation, and The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies. He is a Steinway artist.