In demand annually with some of America’s finest orchestras, and described as a “genuine talent" by the Atlanta Constitution Journal, Portuguese-American Jacomo Rafael Bairos enjoys an emerging international career which is diverse, creative and inclusive. As the Amarillo Symphony’s 17th Music Director and Conductor, and Co-founder and Artistic Director of Nu Deco Ensemble, Bairos’ imaginative and energetic leadership has fostered a collaborative spirit for presenting great art at the highest levels. Through community partnerships and engaging outreach programs, as well as his dedication to facilitating young composers and musicians, Bairos has deepened these ensembles reach as a vehicle for cultural expression, artistic growth and positive community impact.
2015/16 season debuts include the National (Washington, DC), San Diego and Oaxaca (Mexico) Symphony Orchestras, returns to the St. Louis Symphony and Florida Orchestra, as well as subscription performances with Grand Rapids and Knoxville Symphony Orchestras. Previous subscription engagements include the 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.
After an extensive two-year search involving more than 200 applicants from around the world, in 2013 Bairos was appointed the Amarillo Symphony’s 17th Music Director and Conductor. Through his fresh and inventive programming, introduction of the new Premium Pops Series, as well as his community-driven initiatives such as Class Act, Bairos has helped transform the Amarillo Symphony into a multifaceted vehicle for art and community cooperation. In 2014, Bairos and the Amarillo Symphony established the first-ever Composer-in-Residence with young American Chris Rogerson.
Along with composer Sam Hyken, Bairos is co-founder and Artistic Director of Nu Deco Ensemble, a virtuosic and eclectic chamber orchestra designed for the 21st Century. With residency at Miami’s The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, Bairos and Hyken oversee the mission of executing adventurous and exciting classical based collaborative performances, while presenting various styles of music, art, and media in both traditional and alternative concert venues.
The wide range of Bairos's artist collaborations include MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship recipient Jeremy Denk, famed American pianist Garrick Ohlsson, internationally acclaimed guitarist Pablo Saint Villagas, as well as eclectic cross-over group Project Trio, and electronic dance music duo AfroBeta. Bairos also has a long relationship with multi-platinum selling singer-song-writer, Ben Folds
Committed to education, Bairos and the Amarillo Symphony have introduced Class Act, which passionately presents insightful and engaging music performances to schools across the Texas panhandle. Along with regularly coaching and conducting the Amarillo Youth Orchestras, Bairos has crafted orchestral programs and concerts for orchestras, including SymphonyKids and Carnegie Hall's Link Up program, that have enriched the lives of children across United States and abroad.
From 2010-2013 Bairos was Associate Conductor for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and reached thousands of enthusiastic listeners through the broad spectrum of concerts he programmed and conducted, to include the innovative KnightSounds and heralded Pops series.
His close musical mentors include esteemed teacher of conductors Gustav Meier, as well as Robert Spano and 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 and highly selective Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship by the US Mendelssohn Foundation and Maestro 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 of early romantic era music with Maestro Masur. A graduate of both the Peabody Conservatory’s Orchestral Conducting program and the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, Bairos has also worked with Marin Alsop, Jorma Panula, Hugh Wolff, and Larry Ratcleff.
As an accomplished and award-winning tubist, Bairos has given master classes and performed with festivals and orchestras around the world. New York Magazine praised his solo performances in the Juilliard Focus Festival of 1998 as one of the “instrumental highs of the festival.” At the age 18, he was the first tubist in the history of the Aspen Music Festival to win the festival-wide concerto competition.
Bairos has performed, toured, and recorded with the New York Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cincinnati, and Seattle. He has held principal posts with orchestras in America, Spain, and China and was principal Tuba for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra from 2004-2007.