Robert Gupta

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles, CA, United States

About Robert

Bio

Robert Vijay Gupta is an Indian-American violinist and musical activist, and a 2011 TED Senior Fellow. At 24, Gupta is currently the youngest member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and directs Street Symphony, a non-profit organization bringing free music performances to mentally ill individuals living within homelessness and incarceration. Gupta has performed as a soloist and recitalist around the world since the age of 8, but obtained an undergraduate in Biology at 17 and a Master's in Music from Yale at 19, after working in several neuroscience laboratories studying Parkinson's Disease and neurodegenerative biology. 

Languages

Bengali, English

TED Conferences

TEDGlobal 2012, TED2012, TEDGlobal 2011, TED2011, TED2010

Areas of Expertise

Music, mental illness, Community Outreach, Neuroscience of music

An idea worth spreading

Music is medicine.

I'm passionate about

Music and the brain, education, great old (and new) violins, collaboration, social sciences, lamb curry.

Talk to me about

Late Beethoven string quartets, neurocircuitry, sriracha.

People don't know I'm good at

cooking a really tasty lamb curry.

My TED story

Proud to be a Senior TED Fellow!

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

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Robert Gupta
Posted almost 3 years ago
Robert Gupta: Between music and medicine
Thank you all for your wonderful comments. I came across this poem by Rumi recently, and thought I'd share: Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don't open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. -RVG
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Robert Gupta
Posted almost 4 years ago
With the advent of amazing online videos, why are we still so compelled to experience live performance (music, sports games, dance)?
Hi Dino - a good few questions - I do feel sometimes that I can relive my memory of a great performance through a recording - and sometimes, that's all I need to experience the music most fully. The idea of YouTube and online video platforms is simply a representation of the real - so I would say that experiencing music through technology is moral, it's just clouded with noise (see Tom's point above). I think we can absolutely experience art and music through leaps of imagination and technology - and don't always have to be there.
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Robert Gupta
Posted almost 4 years ago
With the advent of amazing online videos, why are we still so compelled to experience live performance (music, sports games, dance)?
This is a great point, Daniel - we do, especially in classical music, create a dissociation between the performer and audience. From the very formal attire, the parking, the 'sit down, shut up, turn off your cell phone', and the ticket price itself, I could see that going to a concert hall can simply be a hassle at the very start - and only a devoted listener, or one open to experiencing the event with an open mind, would gladly go through the first steps. More over, classical music is the only genre of music that is totally not mobile - that you MUST come to a concert hall to "experience" our version of musical culture. I'm not sure, in this internet video age, if that is a sustainable way to continue reaching audiences.