Street Symphony is an ensemble of musical activists – socially conscious artists dedicated to delivering the tremendous therapeutic power of live classical music to mentally ill individuals living in deeply impoverished, disenfranchised communities in Los Angeles. To these individuals living in the dehumanizing conditions of homelessness and incarceration, the committed musicians of Street Symphony restore hope and humanity through the transcendent powers of great music – they remind these audiences that they still have the capacity to experience something beautiful, and that they carry that very spark of beauty – of creativity and connectedness, empathy and humanity – of true healing – within their very selves.
Street Symphony was founded in 2011 by two TED Senior Fellows at the 2011 TED Conference: Adrian Hong, a human rights activist focused on North Korean liberty, and Robert Vijay Gupta, a Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist, and mentor to Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, the subject of LA Times columnist Steve Lopez’s book “The Soloist”, subsequently a movie starring Jaimie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. They were joined by former LA Phil publicist Adam Crane, who played a pivotal role in Nathaniel’s story, and together, these three became activists for social change through music, trusting in the communicative powers of great music to speak across barriers – physical, social, mental – in artistic and human service to those underserved beings who feel as if they have been forgotten by the rest of the world – to all, the joy of music speaks where words fail.
“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.” – Robert Schumann.
Welcome to Street Symphony. We hope you will join us with your support in building a conscious, committed community, combating insidious social ills of our time, through the sheer force of humanity and the arts.
Street Symphony is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization delivering free, on-site classical music outreach concerts of the highest artistic standard, aimed to enrich the lives of deeply underserved mentally ill living within homeless, incarcerated, and Veteran communities. Street Symphony performs events at prisons, clinics and shelters on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, as well as public concerts for the community-at-large aimed to raise awareness for issues mental health and homelessness.