Monday, December 13, 2010

Dec. 17: Gupta to perform concerts for homeless and mentally ill

black and white outlineNew_County_SealCOUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

Department of Mental Health

550 S. Vermont Avenue

Los Angeles, California 90020

Marvin J. Southard, D.S.W.,



William T Fujioka

Chief Executive Officer




For Immediate Release

December 13, 2010


CONTACT:  Karen Zarsadiaz







LA Philharmonic’s Premier Violinist to Perform Concerts

For Homeless & Mentally Ill at Downtown Mental Health Clinic

Violinist Robert Gupta will share his passion and the power of music on Skid Row.


Los Angeles, CA – Talented Philharmonic violinist Robert Gupta will be joined by fellow musicians to kick off a series of classical music performances, starting on Friday, December 17th  at 2:30PM at Downtown Mental Health Center (529 S. Maple Avenue in Los Angeles).


“Music reaches all of us deeper than words, and it speaks of hope and humanity.  It affects people’s lives by bringing them a sense of peace and calm,” stated Gupta.


In the past few years, Gupta has brought his musical activism to underserved communities throughout Southern California.  Now, he has designated the Downtown Mental Health Center as home base for his musical performances.


“The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) is extremely grateful to Mr. Gupta for providing us with the opportunity to bring music to the streets of downtown and Skid Row,” said LACDMH Chief Deputy Director Dr. Robin Kay.  “His dedication to clients’ hope, wellness and recovery through the universal language of music is an invaluable gift.”


Since Gupta began teaching violin to Nathaniel Ayers in 2008, he wanted to share his love of music with the homeless and mentally ill.  Ayers was the subject of the book and film, entitled The Soloist, by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez.


“This is something I’ve wanted to start for a long time,” stated Gupta.  “I want to specifically reach out to the Skid Row population after working with Nathaniel.  I’ve seen the affect of music on him.”


In 2007, Gupta joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil) at the age of 19.  Before joining the LA Phil, he received a master’s degree in music from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in pre-medical biology from Marist College.  While an undergrad, he attended the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School of Music, Pre-College Division.  Gupta is a TED fellow.



The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is the largest county-operated mental health department in the United States, directly operating 75 program sites and more than 100 co-located sites.  Each year, it contracts with approximately 1,000 agencies and individual practitioners to provide a spectrum of mental health services to more than 250,000 residents of all ages.  The Department’s mission -- enriching lives through partnership to strengthen our community’s capacity to support recovery and resiliency – is accomplished by working with stakeholders and community partners to provide clinically competent, culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate mental health services to clients in the least restrictive manner possible.



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