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The Intersection of Science, Art, Music & Humanities

Music, Sanity & Social Justice

Sunday, May 20, 2018


Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other human experience. Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring with it memory. Music brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can. —Oliver Sacks 

Today's Sunday Morning Stop at the Intersection of Science, Art, Music and Humanities focuses on the vitally important role music can play in feeling safe and sane in a world that may feel unsafe—and a bit insane at times.

Robert Vijay Gupta, a TED senior fellow, is my musical activist hero. He is one of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's young lions, as is the conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, whose wildly passionate music-making continues to inspire audiences of all ages worldwide.

Gupta joined the LA Phil in 2007 at the age of 19. He now plays first violin.  

Before joining the orchestra, he received a master’s degree in music from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Marist College, a private liberal arts college on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie.  

Gupta was well on his way to becoming a doctor when he realized his true passion was music.

Paralleled with his premed undergraduate studies in biology, he attended the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School of Music.

Throughout his undergraduate course of study, Gupta was part of several extensive research projects in the field of neuro-and neurodegenerative biology, with research assistant positions at CUNY Hunter College in New York and the Harvard Institutes of Medicine Center for Neurologic Diseases, where he studied the biochemical pathology of Parkinson’s disease.

Gupta and the amazing Adam Crane, the former senior vice president of external affairs and strategic initiatives external affairs for the fabulous St. Louis Symphony, and now the vice president of external affairs at the New York Philharmonic, were the co-founders of STREET SYMPHONY, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating live, free, on-site musical experiences of the highest artistic quality for people experiencing incarceration and homelessness in Los Angeles County, as well as being dedicated to delivering the tremendous therapeutic power of live classical music to mentally ill individuals in the poorest communities.

Biosyntrx  is committed to following the passions of both of these extremely gifted young men, particularly where music, sanity and neurologic diseases are concerned.

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. —Leonard Bernstein

Ellen Troyer, with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff

Biosyntrx strongly believes that appreciation, exploration and commitment to science, art, music, and humanities add significantly to the global greater good and are important parts of the intellectual whole.