Press Release: Celebrity Series of Boston Presents Vijay Iyer Sextet

 Thursday, March 9, 2017, 8pm — Sanders Theatre

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Janes PR, (617) 419-0445,
High res photos: Celebrity Series Press Room

(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present the Vijay Iyer Sextet, featuring Vijay Iyer, piano; Graham Haynes, trumpet; Mark Shim, tenor saxophone; Steve Lehman, alto saxophone; Stephan Crump, bass; and Marcus Gilmore, drums, on Thursday, March 9, 2017, at 8pm at Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, Harvard University, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge. This performance is generously sponsored by Donna and Mike Egan.

Tickets start at $50, and are available online at, by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at the Sanders Theatre box office, Holyoke Center, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.

This performance marks the third appearance for Vijay Iyer with the Celebrity Series of Boston; he made his Celebrity Series debut in 2011 with the Miguel Zenon Quartet and was most recently seen with his trio in 2013.

Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer was named DownBeat Magazine’s 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 at Harvard University. This remarkable, continually exploring artist has more than justified the avalanche of praise heaped on him in recent years.

Born in Albany and raised in Fairport, New York, Iyer received 15 years of classical training on the violin beginning at the age of 3. He began playing the piano by ear in his childhood and is mostly self-taught on that instrument.

After completing an undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics at Yale University, Iyer attended the University of Califonia, Berkeley, initially to pursue a doctorate in physics. Iyer continued to pursue his musical interests, playing in ensembles led by drummers E.W. Wainwright and Donald Bailey. In 1995, concurrent to his composing, recording and touring activities, he left the Berkeley physics department and assembled an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Technology and the Arts, focusing on music cognition. His 1998 dissertation applied the dual frameworks of embodied cognition and situated cognition to music.

Iyer performs around the world with ensembles, most frequently in his trio with Stephan Crump and Marcus Gilmore; the trio has three albums: Break Stuff, Accelerando and Historicity. In 1996, Iyer began his collaborations with Rudresh Mahanthappa, and together they have created eight albums. In 2003, Iyer premiered his first collaboration with poet-producer-performer Mike Ladd on In What Language?, a song cycle about airports, fear and surveillance before and after 9/11, commissioned by the Asia Society.

Iyer has been active as a composer of concert music. His composition Mutations I-X was commissioned and premiered by the string quartet Ethel in 2005; his orchestral work Interventions was commissioned and premiered in 2007 by the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies. In 2011, he created Mozart Effects, commissioned by the Brentano String Quartet as a response to an unfinished fragment by Mozart, and he also created and performed the score to UnEasy, a ballet choreographed by Karole Armitage and commissioned by Central Park Summerstage. In 2012 the Silk Road Ensemble debuted his commissioned piece Playlist for an Extreme Occasion, which appears on their 2013 album A Playlist Without Borders.

In addition to his faculty position at Harvard University, Iyer was previously a faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, The New School and the School for Improvisational Music. In 2015-2016 he was the Artist in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Iyer is a Steinway artist.

Program to be announced from stage.

About Celebrity Series of Boston

Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 78-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.

The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 78 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere.

The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger, the Barr Foundation, Leslie & Howard Appleby, the Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC, the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Donna & Mike Egan, Foley & Lardner LLP, Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda, David & Harriet Griesinger, Zachary Haroutunian and the Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, Paul L. King, the Liberty Mutual Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Joseph McNay, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, The Peabody Foundation, PTC, the Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation, the Stifler Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Henri A. Termeer, Michael and Susan Thonis, Tufts Health Plan, Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma, Nancy Richmond Winsten, Anonymous, and many others.


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