Orchestras in St. Louis, L.A. reach out to homeless, correctional facilities

Posted on: February 3, 2017

“Nathaniel Ayers may not yet be a household name in classical music, but you surely know who he is,” writes Kelly Moffitt on Monday (1/30) at St. Louis Public Radio. “The prodigy’s story was depicted in the 2009 film ‘The Soloist’ by actor Jamie Foxx. It was Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez who discovered Ayers in 2005 and originally wrote a book about” the classically trained double bassist with mental illness. Ayers “had spent many years on the street.… In 2005, Adam Crane, now the vice president for external affairs at the St. Louis Symphony, was the PR Director at the L.A. Philharmonic.… Vijay Gupta, a violinist with the Philharmonic, met Ayers, [who] asked if he could study violin with Gupta. It was through these lessons that Gupta realized that music could help more people in Ayers’ situation…. So, in 2011, Gupta and Crane founded the Street Symphony, and took classical music to Skid Row, a part of L.A. where some 50,000 homeless people reside…. The group is expanding outreach to correctional facilities in Los Angeles. In St. Louis, Crane is working with the St. Louis Symphony’s Maureen Byrne to add correctional facilities to community outreach efforts here.”

Posted February 3, 2017