Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer was named Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, 2016, and 2018 and Artist of the Year in Jazz Times'Critics' Poll and Readers' Poll for 2017. 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 Far From Over(ECM, 2017), with the Vijay Iyer Sextet, which ranked #1 in US National Public Radio's annual Jazz Critics' Poll, surveying 157 critics. Far From Overwas named among the best jazz albums of the year in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Slate, and The New York Times, and the was the only “jazz” release in Rolling Stone’s list of the 50 best records of 2017, which cited it as “2017’s jazz album to beat”.
Previous key releases of Iyer’s include 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 filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013), his third politically 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, American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Matt Haimowitz, and Jennifer Koh.
Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University, with joint affiliations in the Department of Music and the Department of African and African American Studies, and the Artistic Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.