Violinist Vijay Gupta to step down from LA Phil to devote more time to arts activism

Posted on: December 17, 2018

“When Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Vijay Gupta won a MacArthur fellowship earlier this year for his social justice work, an award that came with a $625,000 no-strings-attached stipend, the obvious question was: What next?” writes Deborah Vankin in Sunday’s (12/16) Los Angeles Times. “The answer: … he will give up his seat as one of the L.A. Phil’s first violins to focus on his activism, to teach and to develop his nonprofit Street Symphony, which since 2011 has been performing free concerts for Los Angeles’ homeless and in county jails. His last concert as a full-time member of the L.A. Phil will be Sunday.… Gupta, 31, is creating part-time operations and management positions at Street Symphony. The nonprofit is moving from Gupta’s living room into its first office, a downtown space it will share with the homeless advocacy and performance group Los Angeles Poverty Department. He’s also hoping to expand its fellows program, in which skid row musicians study for up to a year with professional musicians…. The L.A. Phil will still play a central role in Gupta’s life. Some of its musicians are members of Street Symphony.” Said Gupta, “I am who I am because of my colleagues at the L.A. Phil.” Click here to watch and read Gupta’s address at the 2018 League of American Orchestras National Conference.

Posted December 17, 2018