Vijay Gupta and Matthew Aucoin win 2018 MacArthur “genius” grants

Posted on: October 5, 2018

“The MacArthur Foundation announced its 2018 fellows on Thursday, and this year’s class of 25 awardees is a particularly diverse group, with a strong representation of female scientists and social justice thinkers as well as arts and culture innovators,” writes Deborah Vankin in Thusday’s (10/4) Los Angeles Times. “There’s the composer-conductor-pianist Matthew Aucoin, whose instrumental piece, ‘Finery Forge’ (2017), brings the process of refining metal to life on two grand pianos. And there’s … violinist and social justice advocate Vijay Gupta, whose Street Symphony performs live concerts for L.A.’s homeless community in downtown’s skid row…. This year’s crop of fellows includes 14 women, 10 men and a transgender filmmaker…. Two of them are Native American, five are African American, two are Latinx, five are of Asian descent…. Recipients … are awarded $625,000 each … to pursue new creative and intellectual endeavors…. Gupta, a violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic [co-founded] the nonprofit Street Symphony, which offers music workshops and performs concerts at homeless shelters, county jails, treatment centers and other facilities helping incarcerated and homeless communities…. The MacArthur Foundation chose Gupta, 31, for ‘providing musical enrichment and valuable human connection to the homeless, incarcerated, and other under-resourced communities in Los Angeles.’ ”

In June, Vijay Gupta gave a keynote address at the opening plenary session of the League of American Orchestras’ 2018 Conference. Click here to watch his speech, or to read a transcript. 

Posted October 5, 2018

In photo: Vijay Gupta delivers a keynote address at the League of American Orchestras’ National Conference, June 13, 2018. Photo by Dan Rest