The Kennedy Center

Vijay Iyer

Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Vijay Iyer and the Brentano String Quartet

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 7:00 PM

Fortas Chamber Music Concerts

The 2015–2016 Fortas season opens with a concert featuring Grammy Award–nominated composer-jazz pianist and MacArthur Fellow (2013) Vijay Iyer and the acclaimed Brentano String Quartet.

Search for Current Events


Vijay Iyer
and the
Brentano String Quartet
Serena Canin, violin; Mark Steinberg, violin; Misha Amory, viola; Nina Lee, cello
"Pianist-composer Iyer stands among the most daringly original jazz artists of [his] generation."
--The Chicago Tribune
"A magnificent string quartet…This was wonderful, selfless music-making."
--The Times (London)
The 2015–2016 Fortas season opens with a concert featuring Grammy Award–nominated composer-pianist and MacArthur Fellow (2013) Vijay Iyer, who regularly tops the jazz critics' polls, and the acclaimed Brentano String Quartet, which the New York Times praises for a "luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism."
Best known as a jazz pianist and composer, Iyer is a polymath whose career has spanned the sciences, the humanities, and the arts and who received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the cognitive science of music from the University of California, Berkeley. Hailed as "an American treasure" by Minnesota Public Radio, he is equally at home in the worlds of jazz and Western and Indian classical music.
Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano Quartet has garnered popular and critical acclaim around the world. The Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved" and the intended recipient of his famous love confession. In addition to performing the entire two-century range of the standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano Quartet has a strong interest in both very old and very new music. They are the Quartet-In-Residence at Yale School of Music.
The evening begins with a solo set performed by Iyer followed by the Brentano Quartet in Mendelssohn's songlike Quartet, Op. 12. Iyer's multi-movement piano quintet Time, Place, Action--composed in 2013–2014 and dedicated to the memory of poet Amiri Baraka--blends elements of improvisation and written-out music. The New York Times characterized it as "transfixing…dynamic."

Performance Timing: Approximately 1-1/2 hours, including one 15-minute intermission