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New York Premieres of Vijay Iyer's Emergence and Danny Elfman's Suite for Chamber Orchestra

Aug. 04, 2023

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Vijay Iyer Trio performed the New York premiere of Vijay Iyer's Emergence on July 16 at New York's 92nd Street Y. Additionally, the Orchestra gave the New York premiere of Danny Elfman's Suite for Chamber Orchestra at the same concert, part of the 92Y's Midsummer MusicFest in New York City. The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra gave the world premiere performance of Elfman's Suite in May at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. as part of the "Concerts from the Library of Congress" series. The concert honors the legacy of conductor Andre Kostelanetz, champion of a remarkable range of American composers including Aaron Copland, William Schuman, and Jerome Kern. Elfman's new work was commissioned by the Library of Congress, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.

Of Emergence, Iyer notes:

"Emergence is a composition for my group, the Vijay Iyer Trio, plus chamber orchestra. This piece situates our trio's collaborative improvisational language in the context of a classical ensemble. In juxtaposing the respective powers of these very different ensembles, and featuring them separately and together, we explore how these two contrasting perspectives on music might coexist. The trio's specialized skills of internal rhythmic synchronization and organic creative embellishment exist in relief against the orchestra's interpretive powers, range of colors, and sheer physical spread of sound. In this piece, the trio should not be featured up front in a typical "concerto" formation, but rather in the rear of the orchestra, driving the energy from within the ensemble. At times this "rhythm section" function may challenge the role of the conductor, since the sense of pulse is often guided sonically by the trio. In addition, at certain moments, the orchestral players are asked to make choices in real time, sometimes by listening and responding to each other, which challenges the centrality of the score and the composer. These reconsiderations of authority and agency are key questions for me as a composer and improviser."

To learn more about Vijay Iyer, visit

To learn more about Danny Elfman, visit

Vijay Iyer
Emergence (2016)
for trio and orchestra
Solo trio: drum set-pno-db

Danny Elfman
Suite for Chamber Orchestra (2023)
for chamber/small orchestra
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