Jacomo Rafael Bairos
Portuguese-American conductor Jacomo Bairos continues to redefine what a conductor can be in the 21st century. He challenges the preconceptions of orchestral repertoire, blurs the lines of genres, and integrates the orchestra into the broader community in new, holistic and organic ways. Bairos is the 17th Music Director of the Amarillo Symphony, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble, and performs regularly as a guest conductor with some of the world’s finest orchestras.
Bairos’ performances have been described as “thrilling" (Providence Journal), “inspirational and highly communicative” (Singapore Straits Times), and having a “splendid sense of musicality” (Knoxville Mercury). The New York Times hailed Nu Deco Ensemble as “chamber orchestra for the 21st century,” while Billboard called them “a sonically spellbinding experience.”
In the 2019-20 season, Bairos makes debuts with Seattle Symphony, Cincinnati Pops and returns to the symphonies of San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta and Sarasota Orchestra. Bairos is in residency at the Peabody Institute for performances, masterclasses and lectures this fall, and makes his operatic debut this season with Britten’s Turn of the Screw in collaboration with Illuminarts Miami. In June, Bairos made highly successful debuts with The Boston Pops, returned to Atlanta Symphony, conducted Winston-Salem Symphony and continued his relationship with Sewanee Music Festival working with America’s premier young musicians.
Along with composer Sam Hyken, Bairos is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Nu Deco Ensemble - "Occasionally, you see or hear something that blows your mind. Last night, Nu Deco Ensemble at Saratoga Performing Arts Center was exactly that.” (Saratoga Living) Since its inception in 2015, Nu Deco Ensemble has exploded onto Miami’s eclectic musical scene captivating audiences, holistically engaging with its community and fusing innovative, genre-bending orchestral performances and collaborations with the highest levels of musical artistry. Nu Deco enters its fifth season with the release of their first studio album, featuring living composers, popular artist re-imaginations, and unique collaborations with Kishi Bashi and Danay Suarez. Additionally, Nu Deco Ensemble has joined the prestigious roster of Red Light Management in Los Angeles, renewed partnerships with the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and returns to Boca Festival for the Arts.
This year marks Bairos’ seventh season as Amarillo Symphony’s 17th Music Director. His imaginative and inclusive tenure has fueled tremendous fiscal and artistic growth, fusing classical orchestral traditions with diverse programming and dynamic guest artists from the classical, jazz, Middle Eastern, country, dance and multi-media worlds. Bairos has overseen the creation of captivating outreach initiatives such as Class Act, SymphonyKids, and the Happy-Holiday Pops. He also established the first ever Composer-in-Residence with Chris Rogerson.
Bairos has appeared in subscriptions with the symphonies of Singapore, Atlanta, Grand Rapids, Fort Worth, Alabama, Charleston, Knoxville and Rhode Island Philharmonic. Bairos also has appeared with the Detroit and North Carolina Symphonies, Louisiana Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and directed National Symphony Orchestra’s critically-acclaimed DeClassified Series and multiple Pops programs from 2015-2018. Bairos has made numerous returns to the St. Louis, San Diego, Florida, Jacksonville, Charlotte symphony orchestras and recently curated new music performances in Grand Rapids mentoring emerging composers in collaboration with the American Composers Orchestra’s Earshot program. International engagements include Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig and Oaxaca symphony orchestras, as well Orquestra Sinfónica’s do Porto Casa da Música (Portugal).
Bairos’ collaborators include renowned classical artists Jeremy Denk, Garrick Ohlsson, Anne-Marie McDermott, and mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges to name but a few. Bairos also closely collaborates with some of today’s most groundbreaking artists such as Academy Award winner Bryce Dessner, Grammy winning artists Jacob Collier, Angelique Kidjo, Gregory Porter, as well as Kishi Bashi, Danay Suarez, Seu Jorge, Bilal, Aaron Deihl, Cory Henry, and Jon Batiste. Since 2014, Bairos has worked on numerous projects and collaborations with multi-platinum singer-songwriter Ben Folds.
Bairos’ musical mentors include the esteemed conducting pedagogue, Gustav Meier and distinguished Maestro Kurt Masur. From 2010-13 Bairos studied, apprenticed and mentored with Robert Spano and worked with Jorma Panula. Bairos was awarded the prestigious Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship by the U.S. Mendelssohn Foundation and Kurt Masur in 2012 and is a conducting alumnus of both the Peabody Institute and Aspen Music Festival. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Bairos is an accomplished and award winning tubist, having performed at major festivals and with orchestras around the world. Bairos has toured, recorded and concertized with New York Philharmonic as well as with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cincinnati, and Seattle. He has held principal positions with orchestras in America and Spain, and from 2004-2007 Bairos was principal Tuba with Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Bairos is also a Yoga teacher, practitioner of Vipassana Meditation, and works and mentors with underserved children throughout the South Florida and Panhandle-Texas region. He makes his home in Miami, FL.
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