Violinist, educator and newly minted MacArthur “genius” Vijay Gupta earned an enviable position in the classical music world—a spot with the Los Angeles Philharmonic—before he turned 20. As he told NPR on Saturday (October 13), the accolade prompted him to look beyond his personal success to see the artists of color who are barred from his world. 

Gupta spoke about his connection to the Bengali folk music and Hindu spirituals that his immigrant parents played throughout his childhood, working with Nathaniel Ayers and creating the Street Symphony to give incarcerated musicians and those who are experiencing homelessness new opportunities. Listen and learn more: