Before earning an MBA from Loyola Marymount's School of Business and launching his career in tech, Zain studied viola at USC's Thornton School of Music (BM, Class of ’93). An accomplished violist, Zain has performed Principal with many orchestras throughout Southern California including the New West Symphony, Mozart Camerata, Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, American Youth Symphony, YMF Debut Orchestra, and many others. A recipient of the Percy Faith Award at USC's Thornton School of Music, Zain studied viola with Alan De Veritch and chamber music with Milton Thomas.
After graduating from USC, Zain spent much of his twenties in pursuit of his dream of conducting, which included studying with Lord Yehudi Menuhin while he toured with the Sinfonia Varsovia and a summer at the famed Chigiana Academy in Siena, Italy. However, it was Mehli Mehta, the Founder and Conductor of the American Youth Symphony, who inspired Zain, and countless other young musicians, to love music. During his tenure with the American Youth Symphony, Zain performed as Principal Violist and later became the Assistant Conductor to Maestro Mehta. It was Zain that initiated the American Youth Symphony's Outreach Program, which brought music and instrumental lessons to dozens of public schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District.
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 pursue his love of music later.
As his business career took off and his family began to grow, his dream of making music got pushed further away. Ultimately, it was the tragic passing of some close friends (musicians) who inspired Zain to reignite his love of music. 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 2019 (performing Beethoven's 4th Symphony). Artists who have performed with the Vicente Chamber Orchestra include violinists Anne Akiko-Meyers, Irina Tseitlin, Joan Kwuon, Michelle Kim, and Robert Chen. Cellists include Han Bin, Carol Ou and Julian Schwarz. Violist incude Beatrice Chen. Pianists include Robert Thies, Tae-Yeon Lim, Noah Simon, Sung Chang, Brendan White, Wendy Chen and Talon Smith.
Born in Santa Monica, CA, Zain was introduced to the violin at Portola Junior High School. Teaching at Portola Junior High School at the time was Ms. Mary Alice Brown, a fine violinist herself. It was Ms. Brown who started Zain on his musical journey in life. Progressing quickly, he continued his violin studies with Leola Wagner and later, Professors Michael and Irina Tseitlin, and violist Adriana Chirilov.
You can find more about our past and upcoming concerts here.