Vijay Gupta

Violinist. Speaker. Advocate.

Blog
May 24, 2020

Solitude/Isolation

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 believes that the work of the artist and citizen is one:

To make a daily practice of the connected, creative, and courageous world we long to live in Hailed by The New Yorker as “a visionary violinist…one of the most radical thinkers in the unradical world of American classical music” Vijay is an esteemed musician, speaker and thought leader, serving to create spaces of belonging, healing and wholeness through music.

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October 13, 2018

NPR’s Weekend Edition

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October 10, 2018

KCRW Press Play with Madeleine Brand

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October 5, 2018

BBC World Service (London)

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October 5, 2018

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

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October 4, 2018

KPCC Take Two Feature

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August 17, 2018

NBC Dateline Feature: Vijay Gupta’s Story

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"Many of us believe that we are victims to what happens to us, and therefore unworthy of anything better. What we've been taught and trained to believe about ourselves as children, often this is negative and we need to unlearn that. The way we unlearn them is by having a vision and moving forward. Staying focused and being true to that vision of what we desire for ourselves."
Iyanla Vanzant
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A short clip from Esa-Pekka Salonen's "Lachen verlernt" (laughter unlearned).

What is it we must unlearn in order to live the fullest vision of ourselves into the world?

#creativesadhana #payattention
...

The day is for living, and Bach is for peace.
***
I shared this movement of #Bach with some new friends yesterday, and I thought I'd share it with all of my friends here, too!

(Thanks for the shirt and the inspiration, @johnnyg2703. Friends, check out Johnny Gandelsman's amazing, danceable recordings of Bach. It will do your soul good.)

#creativesadhana
...

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
***
The breath makes love real. Reena was inspired to write Saans by the story of the composer Cesar Franck, who dedicated his soaring violin sonata for his friend Eugene Ysaye. The composer and the violinist sight-read the sonata on the night of Ysaye's wedding. 

As Reena was completing her Clarinet Concerto, she saw that the 2nd movement of it would be the perfect wedding present for her dear friend and colleague - the amazing pianist Suzana Bartal - and her husband, the composer Eric Tanguy. While Suzana's wedding took place in Paris, Saans was being premiered in Los Angeles. 

Two years later, Suzana, Peter and I performed Saans at The Wallis Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills - and the next day, one year ago today, Reena and I married each other. 

Happy anniversary, @Reenaesmailcomposer!
***
Filmed at University of La Verne, February 17, 2020
...

This Morning I Pray for My Enemies

And whom do I call my enemy?
An enemy must be worthy of engagement.
I turn in the direction of the sun and keep walking.
It’s the heart that asks the question, not my furious mind.
The heart is the smaller cousin of the sun.
It sees and knows everything.
It hears the gnashing even as it hears the blessing.
The door to the mind should only open from the heart.
An enemy who gets in, risks the danger of becoming a friend.
- Joy Harjo
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@reenaesmailcomposer aching melody in the raga #Desh (the word for country/homeland) is the gnashing and the blessing we need.

Esmail, Piano Trio: Movement II, with @suzanabartal and @petermyerscello

#inauguration
#creativesadhana
...

Lachen Verlernt: Esa-Pekka Salonen
***
Lachen Verlernt - laughing unlearned - is a quote from Pierrot Lunaire, the poems of Albert Giraud famously set by Arnold Schoenberg. In the "Prayer" movement, the narrator begs the harlequin, Pierrot, to give her back her laughter.

For me, "Lachen" became a spiritual and artistic labor, a soundtrack through the continuous unraveling and unveiling of 2020.

In "Lachen", the role of the solo violin is that of Pierrot's narrator - begging, cajoling, threatening, praying, pleading - finally, in utter desperation - screaming for the return of that laughter and all it might represent.

Stay tuned the full video - landing this Friday.
...

When the violin ⁠⠀
Can forgive every wound caused by others⁠⠀
The heart starts singing⁠⠀
***⁠⠀
When the Violin: @reenaesmailcomposer⁠⠀
#creativesadhana⁠⠀
...

We get to choose. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
All of us have the immense opportunity to choose how we will interact with this world, as we rebuild, and recreate a more just, a more connected, a more artistic world. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
We do not create this world to return to ‘normal’. No - we evolve because we are compelled to. We are compelled to envision, to dream, to partner, and to practice. We are compelled to make room for the tragic crises and mourn and to create the world we long for - a world where we all belong, and can create belonging. ⁠⠀
Photo: @bawdenka ⁠⠀
#creativesadhana⁠⠀
...

There’s a blaze of light in every word. It doesn’t matter which you heard - the holy or the broken hallelujah. - Leonard Cohen⁠⠀
***⁠⠀
Hallelujah, arr @reenaesmailcomposer ⁠⠀
#creativesadhana⁠⠀
...

my mother⁠⠀
is pure radiance.⁠
⁠⠀
she is the sun⁠⠀
i can touch⁠⠀
and kiss⁠⠀
⁠⠀
and hold⁠⠀
without⁠⠀
getting burnt.⁠⠀
-Sanober Khan⁠⠀
***⁠⠀
Photo: @bawdenka ⁠⠀
#creativesadhana⁠⠀
...

Tonight, look up and see a miracle. Look to the southwest, and witness the celestial dance that hasn’t happened in 800 years. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
We are part of that same dance. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
It is inevitable that we would be here, right now, tonight, to see this. Of all the years to behold a miracle - this one. ⁠⠀
***⁠⠀
Darshan: III @reenaesmailcomposer⁠⠀
#creativesadhana
...

#fbf to my first time onstage at the breathtaking @hetconcertgebouw in #Amsterdam, on tour with @laphil in March, 2016. ⁠⠀
Highlight of that visit - visiting the #vangogh museum. I miss traveling. ⁠⠀
#hetconcertgebouw⁠⠀
...

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MacArthur Photo Credit: John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation