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Fresno Philharmonic

The Fresno Philharmonic, now in its 69th season, is one of the leading arts organizations in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley. As Fresno’s professional symphony orchestra, the Fresno Philharmonic presents incomparable live musical experiences to thousands of people each season and provides high quality music education programs to students throughout our region. The orchestra is an essential and collaborative member of a vibrant arts scene which unites, delights, and engages a diverse community.

Performance Times

Saturday November 18th, 7:30PM

Sunday November 19th, 3:00PM

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California Festival

Pianist and composer Vijay Iyer’s Human Archipelago, written for cello soloist Inbal Segev, makes use of jazz-like techniques to explore climate change and human migration. George Antheil’s A Jazz Symphony was one of the first American works to fuse jazz and classical music, while Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, a work of extraordinary rhythmic vitality, has actually been covered by several jazz musicians.


Vijay Iyer

Program Notes

Vijay Iyer’s "Human Archipelago" for Cello and Orchestra takes its title from the 2019 book by author Teju Cole and photographer Fazal Shaikh, which addresses the interconnected global phenomena of climate change and mass migration. The Fresno Philharmonic co-commissioned the work along with a consortium of orchestras as part of New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program. A noted jazz pianist, Vijay Iyer draws on a diverse range of influences in his music to convey the sense of precarity and vulnerability of those who have to flee their homes because of political violence or climate change, including techniques similar to improvisation.

Acclaimed Israeli cellist Inbal Segev, who gave the premiere of "Human Archipelago," joins Music Director Rei Hotoda and the Fresno Philharmonic for this first California performance of the work.

Composer and pianist Vijay Iyer has been called "one of the most interesting and important young jazz pianists of our time" by Pitchfork magazine. His most recent commissions include "Playlist for an Extreme Occasion" (2012) for the Silk Road Ensemble, "Dig The Say" for the Brooklyn Rider String Quartet, "Mozart Effects" (2011), "Time, Place, Action" (premiered by the Brentano String Quartet in 2014), and "Bruits" for Wind quintet and piano premiered in 2014 by pianist Cory Smythe and the Imani Winds.

The Fresno Philharmonic’s November concert program highlights the jazz background of Iyer by pairing his work with George Antheil’s "A Jazz Symphony," a 1920’s composition which was one of the first American works to fuse jazz and classical music. The concert concludes with Beethoven’s energetic and rhythmically vital Symphony No. 7 in A Major.

This concert is part of the Fresno Philharmonic’s season-long exploration of the intersection of jazz and orchestral music, including works by Poulenc, John Adams, Guillaume Connesson, and George Gershwin.