Vijay Gupta

Violinist. Speaker. Advocate.

May 24, 2020


There are many ways to be alone. 

Gupta…is one of the most radical thinkers in the unradical world of American classical music. With Street Symphony, he has created a formidable new model for how musical institutions should engage with the world around them. – Alex Ross, The New Yorker

Handel's 'Messiah,' on Skid Row

What’s Next

Vijay Gupta is represented as a speaker by the Lavin Agency.

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Vijay Gupta is a violinist and social justice advocate.

An esteemed performer, communicator, and citizen-artist, Gupta is a leading advocate for the role of the arts and music to heal, inspire, provoke change, and foster social connection. Gupta is the founder and Artistic Director of Street Symphony, a non-profit organization providing musical engagement, dialogue and teaching artistry for homeless and incarcerated communities in Los Angeles.

Download Vijay’s Bio

October 13, 2018

NPR’s Weekend Edition

October 10, 2018

KCRW Press Play with Madeleine Brand

October 5, 2018

BBC World Service (London)

October 5, 2018

Washington Post: The violinist for LA’s skid row wins a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant

October 4, 2018

KPCC Take Two Feature

August 17, 2018

NBC Dateline Feature: Vijay Gupta’s Story

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1 week ago

Vijay Gupta - Violinist


Comment on Facebook 109542755785816_4018468568226529

This concert was brought to you by the number 1...

I remember I went to one of your practices when we were 6. Lol


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“I have to constantly re-identify myself to myself, reactivate my own standards, my own convictions about what I'm doing and why.”⁠⠀
― Nina Simone⁠⠀
#BachEveryday 151: Fugue from the Sonata in C Major⁠⠀

"I am a cage, in search of a bird."⁠⠀
— Franz Kafka⁠⠀
#BachEveryday 150: Fugue from the Sonata in C Major⁠⠀

"Leap, and the net will appear."⁠⠀
— Julia Cameron⁠⠀
#BachEveryday 149: Fugue from the Sonata in C Major⁠⠀

"The only truth is music."⁠⠀
— Jack Kerouac⁠⠀
#BachEveryday 148: Fugue from the Sonata in C Major⁠⠀

"And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about."⁠⠀
— Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)⁠⠀
#BachEveryday 147: Fugue from the Sonata in C Major⁠⠀

"...But if a mirror ever makes⁠⠀
you sad⁠⠀
you should know⁠⠀
that it does⁠⠀
not know⁠⠀
— Kabir⁠⠀
#BachEveryday 146: Fugue from the Sonata in C Major⁠⠀

"You are what your deepest desire is. As is your desire, so is your intention. As is your intention, so is your will. As is your will, so is your deed. As is your deed, so is your destiny."⁠⠀
— Brihadaranyaka Upanishad⁠⠀
#BachEveryday 145: Adagio from the Sonata in C Major⁠⠀

"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option."⁠⠀
— Maya Angelou⁠⠀
#BachEveryday 144: Adagio from the Sonata in C Major⁠⠀

You are greater than the Bible
And the Confer­ence of the Birds
And the Up­an­ishads
All put to­geth­er
You are more se­vere
Than the Scrip­tures
And Hammura­bi’s Code
More danger­ous than Luther’s pa­per
Nailed to the Cathedral door
You are sweeter
Than the Song of Songs
Mightier by far
Than the Epic of Gil­gamesh
And braver
Than the Sagas of Iceland
I bow my head in gratitude
To the ones who give their lives
To keep the secret
The daily se­cret
Under lock and key
Dear Di­ary
I mean no dis­re­spect
But you are more sublime
Than any Sacred Text
Sometimes just a list
Of my events
Is holi­er than the Bill of Rights
And more in­tense
— Leonard Cohen (Book of Longing)
#BachEveryday 143: Adagio from the Sonata in C Major

"You do not need to work to become spiritual. You are spiritual; you need only to remember that fact. Spirit is within you. God is within you. (67)"
— Julia Cameron
#BachEveryday 142: Adagio from the Sonata in C Major

“I’ll tell you what Freedom is to me. No fear.”
—Nina Simone
#BachEveryday 141: Ciaccona from the Partita in d minor

“I should be sorry if I only entertain them. I wish to make them better.”
—George Fredric Handel
#BachEveryday 140: Ciaccona from the Partita in D minor

“You are the music while the music lasts”
—TS Eliot
#BachEveryday 139: Ciaccona from the Partita in D minor

“Eagle Poem”
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.
* Joy Harjo

#BachEveryday 138: Ciaccona from the Partita in D Minor

“We who are in the arts are at the risk of being in a popularity contest rather than a profession. If that fact causes you despair . . . pick another profession. Your desire to communicate must be bigger than your relationship with the chaotic and unfair realities . . . We have to create our own standards of discipline.”
—Anna Deavere Smith, Letters to a Young Artist
#BachEveryday 137: Ciaccona from the Partita in D Minor

Contact Vijay

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MacArthur Photo Credit: John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation