Press Room

Cellist Inbal Segev Gives First U.S. Performances of Vijay Iyer Concerto This Winter with Oregon Symphony, Boise and Illinois Philharmonics (Jan 13-16, 21; Feb 25)

Inbal Segev (photo: Veronica L. Yankowski)

“A cellist with something to say.” – Gramophone

(January 2023)—On the heels of her world premiere performances of Vijay Iyer’s Human Archipelago concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Edward Gardner last fall, cellist Inbal Segev gives the U.S. premiere of the work this month with the Oregon Symphony (Jan 13–16), followed by performances with the Boise Philharmonic (Jan 21) and Illinois Philharmonic (Feb 25). The Oregon and Boise orchestras were co-commissioners of the piece, facilitated by New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices initiative, which fosters collaboration and collective action between U.S. orchestras and composers toward racial and gender equity in classical music. Other co-commissioners who will perform the piece in coming seasons include the Fresno Philharmonic and Las Vegas Philharmonic. A short preview of the piece can be seen here.

Iyer explains:

Human Archipelago 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.

“This piece was born of our evolving relationship to two urgent, entangled global phenomena: climate change and mass migration. It is my hope that the music might offer an opportunity to reflect on our ethical responsibilities to our fellow human beings in the present and future — indeed to rethink our very notion of ‘us.’”

The New York Times describes Iyer as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, rhapsodist and multicultural gateway.” A tenured Harvard professor whose many honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Grammy nomination and Jazz Times’s Artist of the Year, Iyer was one of the composers represented on Volume II of Segev’s ambitious long-term commissioning project, “20 for 2020,” which culminated last fall with the release of the fourth and final volume and the physical release of a 2-CD boxed set of all twenty commissioned compositions for cello from some of today’s most sought-after composers. Iyer and Segev performed his commissioned work, The Window for cello and piano, together on Volume II.

The completion of “20 for 2020” and the Iyer premiere represent just a part of what has been a banner season for the cellist. After performing and recording Human Archipelago with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Edward Gardner, she began a series of performances around the world that continue this winter and spring in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship. Each performance is anchored by Anna Clyne’s DANCE, a cello concerto commissioned by Segev and recorded in 2020. The “hugely impressive” (The Guardian) recording on the Avie label has subsequently been played more than eight million times on Spotify. Segev’s winter and spring are rounded out by chamber music concerts in Concord, Massachusetts and Beacon, New York, as well as in New York City with her longstanding partners from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

About Inbal Segev

Inbal Segev is “a cellist with something to say” (Gramophone). Combining rich tone and technical mastery with rare dedication and intelligence, she has appeared with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony, collaborating with such prominent conductors as Marin Alsop, Stéphane Denève, Lorin Maazel, Cristian Măcelaru and Zubin Mehta. Committed to reinvigorating the cello repertoire, she has commissioned new works from Timo Andres, Avner Dorman, Gity Razaz, Dan Visconti and Anna Clyne. Recorded with Alsop and the London Philharmonic for Avie Records, Segev’s 2020 premiere recording of Clyne’s new cello concerto, DANCE, was an instant success, topping the Amazon Classical Concertos chart; its opening movement was chosen as one of NPR Music’s “Favorite Songs of 2020,” receiving more than eight million listens on Spotify, and Segev has continued to tour extensively with the piece. At the start of the pandemic, Segev launched “20 for 2020,” a commissioning, recording and video project featuring 20 cutting-edge composers, including Vijay Iyer, Molly Joyce, Viet Cuong and John Luther Adams. Her previous discography includes acclaimed recordings of the Elgar Cello Concerto, Romantic cello works and Bach’s Cello Suites, while her popular YouTube masterclass series, Musings with Inbal Segev, has thousands of international subscribers and over two million views to date.

A native of Israel, at 16 Segev was invited by Isaac Stern to continue her cello studies in the U.S., where she earned degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School, before co-founding the Amerigo Trio with former New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and violist Karen Dreyfus. Segev’s cello was made by Francesco Ruggieri in 1673.

To download high-resolution photos, click here.

Inbal Segev: winter and spring 2023 engagements

Jan 8
Concord, MA
Concord Chamber Music Society
Glenn Dicterow, violin
Wendy Putnam, violin
Karen Dreyfus, viola
MOZART: Duet for two violins (after Piano Sonata in A, K. 331)
OSVALDO GOLIJOV: Tenebrae (2002) for String Quartet
CRAS: Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello

Jan 13, 14, 15, 16
Portland, OR
Oregon Symphony
Deanna Tham, conductor
VIJAY IYER: Human Archipelago (U.S. premiere)

Jan 21 (1pm & 7:30pm)
Boise, ID
Boise Philharmonic
Eric Garcia, Conductor
VIJAY IYER: Human Archipelago

Jan 28
Richmond, VA
Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Global Concert Series
Richmond Symphony Orchestra
Valentina Peleggi, Music Director

Feb 18 & 19
Greenwich, CT
Greenwich Symphony Orchestra
Stuart Malina, Music Director
ELGAR: Cello Concerto in E minor

Feb 25
Chicago, IL
Illinois Philharmonic
Stilian Kirov, conductor
VIJAY IYER: Human Archipelago

March 3
Philadelphia, PA
Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Global Concert Series
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
Jeri Lynne Johnson, Founder and Artistic Director

March 10-12
Hartford, CT
Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Global Concert Series
Hartford Symphony Orchestra
Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

March 19
Rye, NY
Westchester Chamber Music Society
Amerigo Trio
BACH: Goldberg Variations (selected movements arranged for string trio)
CRAS: String Trio for violin, viola, and violoncello
BEETHOVEN: String Trio in G, Op. 9, No. 1

March 25 & 26
Reno, NV
Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Global Concert Series
Reno Philharmonic Orchestra
Laura Jackson, Music Director

April 6
New York, NY
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Pedja Mužijević, piano
Stella Chen, violin
Adam Walker, flute
Romie de Guise-Langlois, clarinet, basset horn
Peter Kolkay, bassoon
JAMES LEE III: Ekah for cello and piano (2020) (world premiere)
NED ROREM: Winter Pages for clarinet, bassoon, violin, cello, and piano (1981) (CMS commission)

April 14
Katowice, Poland
Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Global Concert Series
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
Marta Gardolińska, Guest Conductor

April 16
Beacon, NY
Howland Chamber Music Circle
Juho Pohjonen, pianist
BACH: Sonata No. 3 in G minor, BWV 1019
BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 5 for cello and piano, Op. 102, No. 2
GRIEG: Ballade in the form of variations on a Norwegian folk song in G minor, Op. 24 for solo piano
GRIEG: Sonata for cello and piano in A minor, Op. 36

May 6
Chicago, IL
Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Global Concert Series
Chicago Sinfonietta
Wentz Concert Hall
Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director

May 8
Chicago, IL
Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Global Concert Series
Chicago Sinfonietta
Symphony Hall
Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director

# # #

© 21C Media Group, January 2023


Return to Press Room