Hi, I’m Meena Bhasin! I’m a professional violist from New York with a passion for all kinds of culture. I started playing the violin when I was four years old, and since then I’ve been traveling the world with my instrument as a guide. I’ve collaborated with incredible artists from all genres and disciplines and I’ve seen firsthand how art can profoundly enrich people’s lives and connect us deeply with one another, which is why in 2011, I co-founded Decoda. Decoda is the affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall, dedicated to creating meaningful musical experiences through dynamic performance, education, and a quest for social impact. Two years ago, when my husband (also a musician) got a dream job offer and we moved to SF, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to put my skills and interests to use in the Bay Area arts scene. I am thrilled that in creating Reveler I have found my calling. I am driven every day to help more people engage meaningfully with great art.
When I moved from NYC to San Francisco, I noticed there are lots of young people choosing to live in the city because they want access to top-notch culture as well as to some of the country’s best restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. However, since most young professionals don’t have much time to research and plan a cultural night out, it’s hard to take full advantage of all this city has to offer. On the flip side, I’ve already seen lots of my talented artist friends leave the city because they can’t afford to stay here, and that trend is only getting worse. As you can imagine, this problem cuts close to my heart, and it needs a solution. That’s why I started Reveler. Our curators first scour the Bay Area for the best cultural experiences on offer, and then we match those events to meet your schedule and tastes. We deliver a surprise pair of tickets along with a Reveler’s Guide directly to your inbox so that you can have meaningful experiences with the arts on a regular basis and in turn contribute to the sustainability of the arts in your city.
San Francisco is one of the cultural capitals of America. Any night of the week, there are hundreds of events happening throughout the Bay Area. It’s exciting to live in such a vibrant place, but it can also be overwhelming. So much to choose from, so little time to research and plan. How do we even know what’s good or what we’re going to like?
That’s why I created Reveler. Think of us as your cultural stylists. When our curators send you a surprise pair of tickets each month to one of the best cultural events in San Francisco, we make a special night out effortless and meaningful. Our Reveler’s Guide tells you everything you need to know to get the most out of your experience—think of it as your cheat sheet for the evening! We include fun facts about the artists, playlists to get your ears primed, tips on what to look and listen for while you’re there, where to eat and drink nearby, and even what to wear! You tell us when you’re free, we’ll take care of the rest.
In 2011, I co-founded Decoda — a chamber music collective based in NYC and an affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall. Our mission is to help audiences of all kinds make personally relevant connections with music. We do this by bringing people inside the creative process, whether that’s presenting our music in interactive ways or collaborating with community members to write their own compositions. We perform on stages around the globe, and we make it a point to bring the same music to communities where live music is rarely heard – schools, prisons, shelters, and hospitals. I am proud to be a part of such an inspiring group of artists.
One of the craziest things I have done as a classical musician is go on tour with the 70s British rock band, Jethro Tull. It was me and eleven middle-aged men on a tour bus for a month (don’t worry they took very good care of me)! I wrote this song for the tour.
Collaboration is one of the things I love most about playing music, and you can’t get more collaborative than chamber music. This is a clarinet quintet (2 violins, viola, cello, and clarinet) written by a friend and brilliant composer, David Bruce. It’s a piece inspired by Gumboot dancing from South Africa. It’s in two ten minute parts – the first is stirring and melancholy and the second (a set of 5 dances) energizing and invigorating!
I’m part of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in NYC. As a way to connect audiences with their musicians, Lincoln Center’s marketing department created the “Mozart Minute”, videos that highlight a different side of the musician you see on stage. Here is mine.
Here is a commercial I shot for Cotton, you know “The fabric of our lives”. They wanted a real live musician for the ad and they were looking for a rock and roller, but in the end they settled for me — a classical violist!
I have been part of an on going residency at Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina, for three years now. I have seen these men transform through music. It’s been one of the most meaningful experiences in my life thus far. CNN’s Great Big Story did a piece on our work there this year.
It’s 1924 and you’re a Russian composer living in Paris. You receive a commission to write music for a roving Russian ballet troupe about the circus. “Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls, welcome to the circus!”