Meena Bhasin is a captivating violist and entrepreneur whose identity has never fit neatly into a box. Born in New York to an Iranian Jewish mother and a Punjabi Sikh father, her early life was filled with an insatiable passion for cross-cultural dialogue and an itch for interdisciplinary learning. She started honing her musical skills at the age of four. Through experiences as an adolescent performing and collaborating in places like Japan, Israel, China, and at the United Nations, she realized what a powerful connecting force music could be in the world. This realization has affected every artistic choice she has made since.
Meena’s professional life has been diverse and varied. She is a co-founder of Decoda—now the affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall—which is dedicated to creating meaningful musical experiences through dynamic performances, education, and a quest for social impact. She has led Decoda around the globe in projects ranging from Mexico to India and Abu Dhabi, bringing music to great stages as well as places where it is rarely heard, including prisons, hospitals, schools, and shelters. In 2015, she was invited to perform at the Obama White House, highlighting Decoda’s work in criminal justice reform.
Meena is also a member of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in New York City, and makes regular appearances with the San Francisco Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Boston-based chamber orchestra, A Far Cry. She relishes collaborations across genres and has toured the U.S. as a soloist with legendary rock band Jethro Tull and performed Persian music as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic. Her chamber music collaborators have included Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Emanuel Ax, and Joyce DiDonato. As part of her training, Meena was in Ensemble Connect, the post-graduate leadership program of Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School. Prior to that, she graduated as a Presser scholar from New England Conservatory and also holds a BA in international relations from Tufts University. Meena joined SFCMP in 2017.