“I’ve known about the orchestra and its storied history since I arrived in Atlanta seven or eight years ago,” says Bhasin. “It’s not just programming and community outreach that they’ve had success with over the years, but also a track record of collaborating with his top soloists over the last five years.”
Bhasin quickly realized that his enthusiasm for the orchestra extended well beyond its repertoire to the greater impact it would have on Dekalb County. “I think communities like DeKalb County, like Atlanta, need cultural facilities within a community-based framework that prioritizes accessibility along with artistic quality,” he says. “These are the things that interest me most at this stage of my career.”
Born in New York City to a Puerto Rican mother and an Indian father, Bhasin grew up in a home that was music-centric, but more focused on the diverse offerings of her parents’ hometown than on Western classical traditions. I was. “It wasn’t exactly Beethoven or Brahms or Mahler,” he says. “Rather, it was Punjabi prayers, salsa music and traditional Latin music.”
The multiculturalism of Bhasin’s home has transcended music into the realms of language and spirituality, becoming a fundamental overarching experience to shape his life’s trajectory. “I think it was stamped on me as a kid,” he says. “It struck me that there are many different avenues for careers, connections with the surrounding community, language and even art.”
Bhasin started playing the trumpet in middle school and became familiar with the trumpet’s jazz and classical abilities. After his high school music career was filled with competitions and educational opportunities, Bhasin found himself studying orchestral his trumpet at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. It was during this period that he first began studying conducting.
While Bhasin fell in love with conducting, he also felt the call to education. “Playing and conducting orchestras at festivals, classical music.” I discovered,” he says.
Bhasin found it best to explore and apply all of his diverse interests as an educator. This earned him his first professorship at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
A career focused on higher education eventually led Barsin to his current position as Director of Orchestral Studies and Director of Faculty Studies at Emory’s School of Music.
The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra joins Bhasin’s already crowded plate with the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Emory University Symphony Orchestra, his work as music director for the Atlanta Chamber Music Festival, and a string of composition and arrangement work.
Basin chose Symphony No. 2 in D major by Jean Sibelius. 43, I auditioned with the Dekalb Orchestra and found that its history and tonality paralleled the present moment of cautious optimism as the world came out of the pandemic. Number 1 was very dark and he was going through a very difficult time personally,” says Bhasin. “In his writings, we see that from the First Symphony he made a 180-degree turn with respect to the lightness of the Second Symphony.”
Yet Bhasin points to a more intimate reason for making Sibelius’s Second Symphony his first work with the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra. “It’s fun and rewarding to conduct, but it’s really rewarding to play for musicians,” he says. “Playing on all instruments is idiomatically fun and challenging. And it’s also fun for the audience – its pace, its length, its solos, its melody, its rhythm. It sticks in your mind long after you hear it.” It’s a lasting piece, and many people I know who aren’t symphony enthusiasts will have this piece on multiple recordings.”
That eye for choice that rewards all parties involved clearly stems from Bhasin’s keen awareness of the intellectual and spiritual needs of the people he educates. Speak up and let him know that balancing interests is really important to him. His appointment as director bodes well for the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra and its increasingly enthusiastic fan base.
meet our partners
Arts ATL (www.artsatl.org) is a non-profit organization that plays a key role in educating and informing audiences about the arts and culture of Metro Atlanta. Founded in 2009, ArtsATL’s goal is to help build sustainable arts communities that contribute to the economic and cultural health of cities.
If you have any questions about this partnership or anything else, please contact Nicole Williams, Partnership Senior Manager. email@example.com.