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Steve Lopez revisits L.A. Philharmonic violinist Robert Gupta

March 9, 2011 |  3:50 pm


Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez first wrote about violinist Robert Gupta of the L.A. Philharmonic in 2008 when the musician was a mere 20 years old, the youngest member of the orchestra. On Wednesday, Lopez checked back with Gupta, focusing on the violinist's efforts to bring music to the mentally ill.

Gupta plays in the orchestra's first violin section, but in his time off he can be found a world away from the elegance of Walt Disney Concert Hall at community centers that focus on mental health issues. Gupta isn't the only local musician to devote his free time to the needy. Mitch Newman, another Philharmonic violinist, helps organize an annual benefit concert that has raised an estimated $120,000 for mental health advocacy and services. Newman is also involved in youth music education around the area.

While Gupta has been with the orchestra for just a few years, Newman is a veteran, having played with the Phil for more than 23 years.

Read Lopez's recent column on Gupta's work outside the orchestra.



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-- David Ng

Photo (top): Robert Gupta, left, and Mitch Newman in 2010. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Photo (bottom): Gustavo Dudamel. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times