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Robert Gupta

Violinist

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Robert Gupta

Professional Role

Current Titles:

Founder/Artistic Director, Street Symphony First Violinist, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra

Current Organizations:

TED, Street Symphony, Yale School of Music, Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Marist College, Los Angeles Philharmonic.


Photos

Uploaded Photos

Videos

Robert Vijay Gupta: United in Bach's universe and in Beethoven's soul

http://inktalks.com While playing for the homeless and mentally ill, violinist with the LA Philharmonic Robert Vijay Gupta realized that music can speak when words fail. With a parallel interest and training in neuroscience, Robert is passionate about discovering more about how music affects the brain. Robert talks about the special bond he shares with Nathaniel Ayers, the brilliant schizophrenic musician featured in the movie 'The Soloist', and his mission to light the fire of music in the darkest corner of the human soul. Violinist Robert Vijay Gupta joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in June 2007 at the age of 19. Before joining the orchestra, Robert received a Master's degree in Music from Yale University and a Bachelor's degree in biology from Marist College. Parallel to his undergraduate studies in biology, he attended the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School of Music, Pre-College Division. His principal teachers have included Glenn Dicterow, Ani Kavafian, and Isaac Stern. Robert made his solo debut at the age of eleven in Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta. He has performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Bombay Symphony Orchestra among many others. He has also performed widely as a chamber musician and recitalist on an international scale since the age of eight, and frequently appears on the Philharmonic's Chamber Music Society and Green Umbrella new music series. Robert has also performed as a guest concertmaster with the Los Angeles Opera under James Conlon and the Orquestra Comunitat de Valencia at the Palau de Les Arts in Valencia, Spain under Mehta. Robert curates and directs a free outreach concert series for the homeless, veterans, and mentally ill on skid row in downtown Los Angeles called The Street Symphony, which brings musical activism to underserved communities throughout Southern California. The project aims to bring live musical performance to audiences without access in order to remove the stigma associated with homelessness and mental health. Throughout his undergraduate course of study, Robert held Research Assistant positions at CUNY Hunter College in New York City, where he worked on spinal chord neuronal regeneration, and at the Harvard Institutes of Medicine Center for Neurologic Diseases, where he studied the biochemical pathology of Parkinson's disease. He is passionate about discovering more about how music affects the brain, especially in neurological disorders. Robert is a TED Senior Fellow. Robert recorded his debut album in July 2011 with Yarlung Records, in Walt Disney Concert Hall. The album includes solo violin works by John Harbison, Eugene Ysaÿe, and HIF Biber, as well as the premiere recordings of LA Phil principal timpanist Joseph Pereira's Partita for Solo Violin and Gupta's own composition upon the Indian raga "Jaunpuri". The album was recorded on the 1716 "Milstein" Stradivarius. PERSONAL JOURNEY: In 2008, I met Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless, paranoid schizophrenic man, that I have come to call a close friend, and certainly, amongst my most effective teachers. Nathaniel studied musical performance at the prestigious Juilliard School, where I would later attend, but he dropped out after his diagnosis with mental illness, and lived homeless in Los Angeles for 30 years. I became his violin teacher, and time after time, the music would bring him back from the very brink of a schizophrenic episode. Nathaniel showed me that music was medicine, that music was sanity. WEBSITE: http://www.laphil.com/philpedia/artist-detail.cfm?id=3309

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Projects

Street Symphony
03/11/2011 – present
Founded in 2011, Street Symphony is a non-profit organization that promotes on-site outreach concerts for greatly undeserved members of the community presented by local classical musicians of the highest artistic standard. Street Symphony aims at the intersection of undeserved communities, talented artists, and the community at large by pairing live performance, art and music workshops, and education programs to raise awareness and remove the stigma associated with mental illness and homelessness.
Project Website »


Biography

Indian-American violinist ROBERT VIJAY GUPTA joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in June 2007 at the age of 19 and is currently the youngest member of the prestigious ensemble. Prior to joining the orchestra, Gupta received a Master’s degree in Music from Yale University and a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Marist College. Parallel to his undergraduate studies in biology, Gupta attended the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School of Music, Pre-College Division. His principal teachers have included Glenn Dicterow, Ani Kavafian, and Isaac Stern. Gupta made his solo debut at the age of eleven in Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta. He has performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Bombay Symphony Orchestra, among many others. He has also performed widely as a chamber musician and recitalist on an international scale since the age of eight, and frequently appears on the Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Society and Green Umbrella new music series. Gupta has also performed as a guest concertmaster with LA Opera under James Conlon and the Orquestra Comunitat de Valencia at the Palau de Les Arts in Valencia, Spain under Mehta. Gupta directs a non-profit organization called the Street Symphony, which actively brings live musical outreach and educational workshops to audiences without access to the arts throughout Southern California. Street Symphony ensembles perform for the homeless and mentally ill living on Skid Row in downtown L.A., as well as at prisons and terminal care facilities, for injured and homeless veterans, and centers for mentally retarded children and adults. Gupta is a TED Senior Fellow. Throughout his undergraduate course of study, Gupta held Research Assistant positions at CUNY Hunter College in New York City, where he worked on spinal chord neuronal regeneration, and at the Harvard Institutes of Medicine Center for Neurologic Diseases, where he studied the biochemical pathology of Parkinson’s disease. He is passionate about discovering more about how music affects the brain, especially in neurological disorders. Gupta recently recorded his debut album after crowdsourcing funding through a Kickstarter campaign. The album includes the premiere of Gupta’s own composition upon the Indian raga Jaunpuri as well as LA Phil Principal Timpanist Joseph Pereira’s Partita for Solo Violin. The recording also features solo violin works by John Harbison, Eugene Ysaÿe, and HIF Biber. The album was recorded at Walt Disney Concert Hall on the 1716 “Milstein” Stradivarius, and will be available early 2012. Gupta plays on a 2003 violin made by Kansas City luthier Anton Krutz.


Fun facts

Favorite meal:
has to be my mother's shrimp curry.

A funny story about me:
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Vital Stats

Fellows Class
TED2010
2011 TED Senior Fellow
Languages
Bengali
English
Spanish
Living in
Los Angeles, United States
Working in
Los Angeles, United States
Born in
Nyack, United States
Gender
Male

Contact

Twitter
@street_symphony
Blog
streetsymphonyblog.posterous.com/

Fellows I Am Collaborating With


Recent Blog Posts

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