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World Premiere of Vijay Iyer's Trouble with Jennifer Koh and ICE at the 2017 Ojai Music Festival

Jun. 01, 2017

World Premiere of Vijay Iyer's <em>Trouble</em> with Jennifer Koh and ICE at the 2017 Ojai Music Festival

The 2017 Ojai Music Festival kicks off on June 8 with two significant premieres of works by this year’s Ojai Music Director, Vijay Iyer: the world premiere of Trouble, a violin concerto for soloist Jennifer Koh and chamber orchestra, and the American premiere of Emergence, a work for jazz piano trio and orchestra. Steven Schick leads the International Contemporary Ensemble and Oberin Conservatory Contemporary Music Ensemble in both works, and Iyer, a formidable jazz pianist, is joined by bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Tyshawn Sorey in Emergence.

Iyer has collaborated extensively with Koh in the past two years, as part of her “Bridge to Beethoven” project with pianist Shai Wosner in 2015 that resulted in Bridgetower Fantasy, and her New York Philharmonic Biennial solo violin program “Shared Madness” in 2016 where she premiered Zany, Cute, Interesting. Koh approached Iyer with the idea for a new violin concerto, which he regarded as “a stimulating challenge for me to push myself into a slightly different world and a different way of working.” The work was co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Emergence was premiered in 2016 at the National Forum of Music in Wrocław, Poland, featuring trio soloists Iyer, Crump and Sorey alongside the NFM Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra. The piece merges elements of jazz improvisation with classical music forms, in order, as Iyer explains, to see “how these two contrasting perspectives on music might coexist.” Iyer’s interest in improvisation also informs compositional elements of the piece, which asks the orchestral musicians “to make choices in real time, sometimes by listening and responding to each other, which challenges the centrality of the score and the composer.”

In addition to the June 8 premiere at Ojai, Jennifer Koh performs Trouble on June 15 at Cal Performances in Berkeley, California with Steven Schick, ICE and Oberlin's Contemporary Ensemble, and July 13 as part of the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts with Eric Jacobsen leading The Knights.

For more information on Vijay Iyer, visit

Vijay Iyer
Trouble (2017)
for violin and chamber orchestra
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Bridgetower Fantasy (2015)
for violin and piano

Zany, Cute, Interesting (2016)
for solo violin

Emergence (2016)
for jazz trio and orchestra
solo jazz trio: drum set-pno-db