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, Bairos’ has earned a reputation for versatility, superb musicianship and “creativity ingenuity” (Miami Herald). Bairos is the Amarillo Symphony’s 17th Music Director and Co-founder and Artistic Director for Miami based Nu Deco Ensemble; a virtuosic and eclectic chamber orchestra designed for the 21st century. Through his critically acclaimed performances and imaginative programing, as well as his dedication to young musicians and living composers, Bairos has fostered artistic growth, positivity community impact, as well as a collaborative spirit for the presentation of compelling art at the highest levels.
2016/17 highlights include debuts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, as well as returns to the National Symphony Orchestra to direct their critically acclaimed DeClassified Series and the Grand Rapids Symphony to curate a residency of orchestral and chamber performances during the 2016 International ArtPrize Festival. In 2015/16 Bairos debuted with the National (Washington, DC), Houston, Grand Rapids, Knoxville, Sarasota and Oaxaca (Mexico) Symphony Orchestras, and made returns to the Florida Orchestra, St. Louis and San Diego Symphonies. Previous subscriptions include 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.
In 2013, after an extensive search involving more than 200 applicants from around the world Bairos was appointed the Amarillo Symphony’s 17th Music Director. Through fresh and inventive programming and the creation of engaging outreach initiatives such as Class-Act, Bairos has not only presided over tremendous fiscal and artistic growth for the Amarillo Symphony, yet has achieved consistent sold-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 of Nu Deco Ensemble; Miami’s genre-bending chamber orchestra reimagined for a wide variety of music enthusiasts. Nu Deco Ensemble creates compelling and transformative live musical experiences that inspire, enrich and connect new and diverse audiences and artists. 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 collaborators include MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship recipient Jeremy Denk, famed American pianists’ Garrick Ohlsson and Anne-Marie McDermott, as well as guitarist Pablo Saint Villagas to name a few. In addition, Bairos closely collaborates with some of today’s most ground-breaking and eclectic, genre-bending composers and artists such as Academy Award Winning guitarist-composer Bryce Dessner, singer-songwriter-violinist Kishi Bashi, neo-funk soul-singer Bilal, and the classical 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 passionately presents insightful and engaging music performances to schools and children across the Texas panhandle and South Florida region. Bairos has crafted interactive programs and concerts for orchestras, including Amarillos’s Class Act, SymphonyKids, Nu Deco Ensembles Imagine Series and Carnegie Hall’s Link-Up Program which enrich the lives of tens of thousands of kids annually. Bairos was Associate Conductor for the Charlotte Symphony from 2010-2013 and conducted and programmed a broad spectrum of performances on every series to include the innovative KnightSounds concerts.
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. Jacomo is a graduate of the famed conducting programs of both the Peabody Institute and Aspen Music Festival.
A graduate of The Juilliard School, Bairos is an accomplished and award-winning tubist, having given master classes and concerts with major festivals and orchestras around the world. 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.