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Matt Haimovitz Debuts Vijay Iyer's Run for solo cello

Oct. 02, 2015

Matt Haimovitz Debuts Vijay Iyer's <em>Run</em> for solo cello

Matt Haimovitz’s multi-day residency at Miller Theatre in New York City culminates in two concerts featuring the complete Bach cello suites programmed with newly commissioned overtures to accompany them, including Vijay Iyer’s Run. Haimovitz called on Iyer and five other composers to create new solo works for the instrument that connect with Bach’s timeless collection of cello works. Iyer writes of the piece:

Bach's solo string music sounds oddly futuristic even today. I first heard the cello suites when I was a child, and I remember noticing the mystical hush that this music could bring over listeners — a strange, beautiful reminder of melody’s power. 

When Matt approached me last year, I was daunted at first: how could I create an “overture” for something already so complete, so familiar? ... I decided to follow up on Bach's own use of the instrument's inherent resonances … It dawned on me that this "overture" should herald the whole work without revealing too much of it. In this way, my piece became compact, active, resonant, and continuous — a brisk, eventful run through the woods.

Iyer, a recent recipient of the coveted MacArthur "Genius" Grant and a figurehead of contemporary jazz, is no stranger to the classical tradition. Earlier this year, he composed Bridgetower Fantasy for violin and piano, inspired by the 18th-century violinist George Bridgetower who premiered Beethoven’s Sonata No. 9 in A Major, op. 47. Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner give the work’s New York City premiere on October 26 at the 92nd Street Y.

For more information on Vijay Iyer, visit

Tickets and concert information can be found at and

Vijay Iyer
Run (2015)
for cello

Bridgetower Fantasy (2015)
for violin and piano