Thomas Mesa, Inaugural Winner of Robert Frederick Smith Prize
(Photo: Glenn Triest)
Robert F. Smith
Sphinx recently received a major contribution in support of its work. This generous gift was made by Robert F. Smith, the founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. His $250,000 commitment follows a history of support for young musicians and establishes the "Robert Frederick Smith Prize," an award that will be bestowed annually upon winners of the Senior Division of the Sphinx Competition.
"Music is at the core of the African-American and Latino cultural experience, and provides us with a language to inspire, uplift and empower our young people. I partnered with Sphinx to give this prize because Sphinx understands how music transforms lives and through its competition can recognize the very best musicians in the world, " said Smith about the partnership.
The inaugural Robert Frederick Smith Prize was awarded to cellist Thomas Mesa, 2016 Senior Division first place Laureate of the Sphinx Competition. The Prize will provide $50,000 of support each year to help create on-ramps to careers in the classical music field by providing access to professional development and other vital resources.
"We are most grateful for this generous gift. Robert Smith's vision provides essential support for a key program and is not only an investment in each winner, but also in the field," said Dr. William H. Carson, chair of the Sphinx Organization Board of Directors.