Jacomo Rafael Bairos
Music Director and Conductor
Described as a “genuine talent” (Atlanta Constitution Journal) and having a “splendid sense of musicality”, (Knoxville Mercury) Portuguese-American Jacomo Bairos has been sought after for his energetic leadership and dynamic artistry. Annually in demand by some of America’s finest orchestras and ensembles, Bairos’ has earned a reputation for versatility, superb musicianship and “creativity ingenuity” (Miami Herald). Bairos is currently the Amarillo Symphony’s 17th Music Director and Conductor, as well as Co-founder and Artistic Director for Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble. Through spirited guidance and synergetic partnerships, as well as his dedication to young composers and musicians, Bairos has elevated these ensembles’ relevancy and reach as vehicles for expression. Through critically acclaimed performances and imaginative programing, Bairos has fostered artistic growth, positivity community impact, and a collaborative spirit for the presentation of compelling art at the highest levels.
2015/16 season highlights included debuts with the National (Washington, DC), Houston, Grand Rapids, Knoxville, Sarasota and Oaxaca (Mexico) Symphony Orchestras, as well as returns to the Florida Orchestra, St. Louis and San Diego Symphony’s. In 2016/17 Bairos debuts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, as well as returns to the Houston Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra directing their eclectic Declassified Series and the Grand Rapids Symphony to curate a week-residency of orchestral and chamber performances during the international ArtPrize Festival. Previous subscription performances include the Atlanta, Singapore, Alabama, Liepzig, and Charleston Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Provincial of Santa Fe Argentina and the Orquesta Sinfónica Universidad de Guanajuato of Mexico. Additionally, he has appeared with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta National do Porto Portugal, and the Louisiana Philharmonic as well as the Jacksonville, North Carolina, and Charlotte Symphony Orchestras. Bairos’s 2009 debut recording of Raw Emotions with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra—which featured concertos by North American living composers—was met with critical acclaim from Fanfafe Magazine.
After an extensive two-year search involving more than 200 applicants from around the world, in 2013 Bairos was appointed the Amarillo Symphony’s 17th Music Director and Conductor. Through fresh and inventive programming and collaborations, as well as outreach initiatives such as Class-Act, Bairos has not only fostered artistic growth for the Amarillo Symphony, yet has achieved sell-out performances for the first time in decades. Bairos and the Amarillo Symphony also established the first-ever Composer-in-Residence with American Chris Rogerson.
Along with composer Sam Hyken, Bairos is Co-Founder and Artistic Director for Nu Deco Ensemble; an eclectic and virtuosic chamber orchestra reimagined for the 21st-century. Nu Deco Ensemble creates compelling and transformative genre-bending musical experiences that inspire, enrich and connect new and diverse audiences and artists. With residency at Miami’s The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, Bairos and Hyken curate adventurous and exciting classical based collaborative performances that not only speak to society today, but ignite the passions of new and seasoned music lovers of all ages. Fusing a collaborative enthusiasm for new music with classical, popular and electronic traditions, Nu Deco Ensemble aims to create a unique model for sustainability and relevancy in today’s world.
The wide range of Bairos artist collaborations include MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship recipient Jeremy Denk, famed American pianist Garrick Ohlsson, internationally acclaimed guitarist Pablo Saint Villagas, decorated violinist Shlomo Mintz, and the eclectic cross-over group Project Trio. Bairos also regularly works with multi-platinum selling singer-song-writer, Ben Folds.
With education and outreach as core tenants of work, Bairos and the Amarillo Symphony have introduced Class Act, which passionately presents insightful and engaging music performances to schools across the Texas panhandle. Along with routinely coaching the Amarillo Youth Orchestras and the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, Bairos has crafted interactive programs and concerts for orchestras, including SymphonyKids, Nu Deco’s Imagine Series and Carnegie Hall’s Link-Up that have enriched the lives of children across United States and abroad. Formally Associate Conductor for the Charlotte Symphony (2010-13) Bairos reached thousands of concertgoers through the broad spectrum of concerts he programmed and conducted, to include the innovative KnightSounds and heralded Pops series.
His musical mentors included esteemed teacher of conductors Gustav Meier, as well as Robert Spano and the Kurt Masur. After participating in the 2012 Kurt Masur Conductors Seminar in New York City—where he shared the podium with Maestro Masur in concert—Bairos was awarded the prestigious Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship by the US Mendelssohn Foundation and Kurt Masur. Bairos subsequently traveled to Germany to conduct concerts with the Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, assist at the Gewandhaus Orchestra, and further his studies and mentorship with Maestro Masur. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory’s distinguished Orchestral Conducting Program and the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen (2010, 2012) Bairos has also worked with Jorma Panula, Marin Alsop, Hugh Wolff, and Larry Ratcleff.
As an accomplished and award-winning tubist, Bairos has given master classes and performed with festivals and orchestras around the world. New York Magazine praised his solo performances in the Juilliard Focus Festival of 1998 as one of the “instrumental highs of the festival” and at age 18, he was the first tubist in the history of the Aspen Music Festival to win the festival-wide concerto competition. Bairos has performed, toured, and recorded with the New York Philharmonic as well as with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cincinnati, and Seattle. He held principal positions with orchestras in America, Spain, and China and was principal Tuba for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra from 2004-2007.