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World Premiere of Vijay Iyer's Human Archipelago With Inbal Segev and the London Philharmonic Orchestra

Sep. 26, 2022

Vijay Iyer’s concerto for cello and orchestra, Human Archipelago, will be given its world premiere performance on October 1 at London’s Royal Festival Hall by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and soloist Inbal Segev, under the baton of Edward Gardner. The composer participates in a chamber music salon concert with Inbal Segev and musicians from the London Philharmonic Orchestra immediately following the premiere in Royal Festival Hall's Clore Ballroom. 

Iyer describes his new work:

"Human Archipelago draws its inspiration from the 2019 book of the same name by author Teju Cole and photographer Fazal Shaikh, which addresses two urgent, entangled global phenomena: climate change and mass migration. Through its series of loving portraits and mini-essays, we are led to reconsider our ethical responsibilities to our fellow human beings in the present and future. We are led to rethink our very notion of 'us.'" 

The piece uses the concerto format to stage a series of precarious encounters among the soloist, the orchestra, and the “travelers,” a group of performers who play only by ear. The first movement, “Scenes in Free Fall,” sets a single melody in a series of unstable environments; the next, “Xenia,” imagines a blessed visit from strangers; and the last, “To be one of many,” builds a fugue-like collective polyphony before giving way to a coda where the soloist and travelers unite. 

The Oregon Symphony gives the US premiere of Human Archipelago on January 13, 2023 with Inbal Segev performing under the baton of Marin Alsop. Three additional performances follow from January 14-16. 

To learn more about Vijay Iyer visit

Vijay Iyer
Human Archipelago (2022)
concerto for cello and orchestra
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