Speaking with Pico

By Lynda Millner   |   November 23, 2021
Arts & Lectures supporter Betsy Atwater and trustee Sue Wilcox at the Gupta reception

Violinist Vijay Gupta has been all about music since the early age of eight when he started performing. At 11, he made his solo debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta. He then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology and his master’s in music at Yale.

When Gupta joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he was the youngest violinist in the history of the orchestra, and he stayed for 12 years. But there was more to come. For instance, a TED Talk called “Music is Medicine, Music is Sanity.”

He was a founder of Street Symphony, which presents music to those living in shelters, clinics, and county jails. He is co-founder of Skid Row Arts Alliance and is as at home with the homeless as he is in a tux on a concert hall stage. His theme this evening was to be “The Healing Power of Music.”

There was a private reception at Mosher Alumni House hosted by UCSB Arts & Lectures for the violinist and author and interviewer Pico lyer. Gupta is just the kind of person Pico would love to question. After the reception, they appeared at Campbell Hall.

Miller McCune Executive Director Celesta M. Billeci introduced the pair and they answered guests’ questions. Sponsors were Dori Pierson Carter and Chris Carter, as well as Laura and Kevin O’Connor. It was done in association with the UCSB Department of Music. There’ll be more of the Pico series March 2 and May 13. For tickets, call (805) 893-3535.

Violinist Vijay Gupta, wife Reena Esmail, and Pico lyer at the Arts & Lectures reception

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