Street Symphony’s staff members, comprised of four musicians and a spoken word artist, strive to build bridges between members of Los Angeles’ professional music community and the Skid Row community. Each versatile team member performs both artistic and administrative tasks, focusing on using the sharing of music as a catalyst to build relationships. Their work allows a growing roster of Street Symphony musicians the opportunity to connect with others through the healing power of music. To learn more about the staff, please see their bios below.
Founder and Artistic Director
Vijay Gupta is a violinist and social justice advocate. An esteemed performer, communicator, and citizen-artist, Gupta is a leading advocate for the role of the arts and music to heal, inspire, provoke change, and foster social connection. Gupta is the founder and Artistic Director of Street Symphony, a non-profit organization providing musical engagement, dialogue and teaching artistry for homeless and incarcerated communities in Los Angeles.
Recognized for his “dedication to bringing beauty, respite, and purpose to those all too often ignored by society while demonstrating the capacity of music to validate our shared humanity”, Vijay Gupta is a 2018 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow.
Vijay Gupta is a celebrated speaker, educator and advocate, and works as a consultant and guest lecturer with education, performance and presentation institutions across the US and Canada. He currently serves on the faculty of The Colburn School and Longy School of Music and is the Senior Program and Artistic Advisor of Young Musician’s Foundation, an LA-based musical training, performance and advocacy organization. Gupta also serves on the board of directors of the DC-based national arts advocacy organization Americans for the Arts, as well as Los Angeles’s beloved 24th Street Theatre.
An acclaimed violinist and seasoned international performing artist since the age of 8, Gupta made his solo debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age 11. In 2007, at 19, Gupta joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and served as a member of the First Violin section through 2018. He has appeared as a guest concertmaster with the Los Angeles Opera and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, and is an active recitalist, soloist and chamber musician.
Gupta holds a BS in biology from Marist College (‘05) and an MM in violin performance from the Yale School of Music (‘07). Gupta is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of La Verne and the 2017 Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award from the Longy School of Music. Gupta is a 2017 Citizen Artist Fellow with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a 2011 TED Senior Fellow. Gupta is represented as a speaker by the Lavin Agency and performs on a 2015 violin made by Los Angeles maker Eric Benning.
Recently appointed as Associate Artistic Director, Dustin Seo has been involved with Street Symphony since 2017 and commits his artistic practice to organizing and empowering communities in Los Angeles, specifically through partnerships with Skid Row based arts organizations and service providers. As Associate Artistic Director of Street Symphony, Seo is responsible for curating all engagement and performance programming, building and sustaining artistic and community partnerships, and artistic personnel management and contracting. Through his involvement with Street Symphony, Seo has deep relationships with staff and clients at The Midnight Mission, Downtown Women’s Center, and the Weingart Center, and has been involved in community based artistic organizations like the Los Angeles Poverty Department, Urban Voices Project, and Studio 526. Seo has also been involved in community organizing efforts led by Esperanza Housing Trust, Justice LA, Trap Heals, and LA Community Action Network.
Dustin is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY), where he received his Bachelor of Music degree with distinction in Cello Performance. Along with his performance studies, he also received an honors academic major in Musical Arts as well as a Certificate in Arts Leadership. Dustin’s education continues beyond school through the mentorship of community organizations and individuals who have been leading and organizing Los Angeles every day through their enduring compassion, humanity, and artistry.
Vivo joined Street Symphony in January 2019, as a part-time staff member shifting into multiple positions over time as Operations Manager, Business and Grants Manager, and recently was acquired as the new, first, full-time, Operations Manager. She oversees all logistical matters related to operations, accounting, grant management, marketing, and compliance.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Graphic Communications at San Francisco State University and recently earned a Master of Arts in Arts Management in Nonprofits at Claremont Graduate University, Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2019. For the past 20 years, Vivo has served as a Marketing and Creative Designer for her entrepreneurial business, Vivo Designs Solutions. Her passion thrives in providing creative solutions for small businesses, startups, and nonprofit organizations. Her involvement within the community includes work experience with East West Players, LACMA, The Japan Foundation, Boys and Girls Club, Think Together, Helpers Aide, Taste Recovery, and amongst many other small businesses. Vivo also played for and owned the California Quake, a women’s full-contact tackle football team in operation from 2001 to 2015. Her vast experience working with a diversity of nonprofit organizations and owning the California Quake has given her broad experience in organization operations, marketing, development, and visual communications.
Elizabeth Asher is a violist, teacher, and visual media artist currently based in Los Angeles. She is a recent graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she earned her Master of Music degree in Viola Performance. Elizabeth is a passionate educator and maintains a private studio of violin and viola students in the cities of La Crescenta, La Canada, and Glendale. In addition to her work as a freelance violist and a teacher, she is also a photographer and videographer and has collaborated with professional musicians and artists from across the country. Always eager to learn new skills, she is currently enrolled in the ArtCenter College of Design extension program as well as the King Sejong Institute Korean language course.
Amy Fogerson is a professional ensemble singer and soloist who appears regularly with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and many other LA ensembles. Her voice has also appeared on more than 100 feature films, including recent releases Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker and Mulan. She is on staff with the non-profit organization Street Symphony and has facilitated collaborative music-making events in Skid Row, LA County jail, and CA state prisons. She is the founding Director of the Street Symphony Chamber Singers and supervises Street Symphony’s Daniel Chaney Fellows program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Amy has developed her interest in writing poetry and has collaborated with the composer Reena Esmail on two choral projects.