Before earning an MBA and launching his career in tech, Zain studied music in college (USC School of Music, Bachelors of Music, Class of ’93) and played viola in the American Youth Symphony under the direction of Mehli Mehta, who was a mentor to countless young musicians. Mehli’s love of music had a profound impact on Zain. It was Mehli who taught him how to conduct. After graduation from USC, Zain spent much of his twenties in pursuit of his dream of conducting, which included studying with Yehudi Menuhin while he toured with the Sinfonia Varsovia and a summer at the famed Chigiana Academy in Siena, Italy.
He gradually left behind his love of music to pursue other ambitions. For well over 20 years, he put his musical aspirations on hold to raise a family and build a business. He did so at the sacrifice of his musical ambitions, and told himself that he would “do it later.”
As his career took off, he realized the time may never come if he keeps postpoing his dream. And so in 2016, he set out to form his own chamber orchestra. Called the “Vicente Chamber Orchestra” (named after a street close to his home), the ensemble did not have a Board, an organizational structure, or committed musicians. He was even told that there was no need for yet another orchestra in Los Angeles.
However, with the help of some close friends who were interested in starting a new orchestra on the Westside, he formed the Vicente Chamber Orchestra (VCO). The VCO gave its first performance on Saturday, November 16, 2016. Since that night, the orchestra has performed between two and three concerts a year, aiming for the highest possible quality in its performances. The VCO established itself as a Los Angeles success story when it first sold out the Broad Stage in Santa Monica in early-2018 (performing the Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor with Noah Simon).
You can find more about our past and upcoming concerts here.