Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sphinx Commissioning Consortium to Highlight Composers of Color

[The Harlem Quartet and Sphinx Chamber Orchestra perform Delights and Dances by Michael Abels at Carnegie Hall in September 2007.]

The Sphinx Organization announces a partnership to commission new classical works of Black and Latino composers:

Thirteen Orchestras Join Sphinx to Promote Diversity in Classical Music

The Sphinx Organization, the national non-profit organization dedicated to building diversity in classical music, has announced a new initiative aimed at bringing more music by Black and Latino composers to the concert hall. Sphinx will administer the new initiative, which is called the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium (SCC), and will partner with thirteen prominent orchestras.

Currently, compositions by Black and Latino composers account for less than 1% of classical music performed each year. As a group, the SCC will commission a new orchestral work from a Black or Latino composer annually. Each member orchestra will perform the commissioned piece during the concert season following its completion. Through their joint financial commitments, the SCC will have resources exceeding $70,000 each year to cover commissioning fees along with other costs associated with each new work.

Aaron Dworkin, founder and president of the Sphinx Organization, announced the new initiative at the Sphinx Competition Finals Concert in Detroit on Sunday evening. “Sphinx is proud to partner with these leading organizations, which represent a broad cross-section of our field,” said Dworkin. “This collaboration is a truly historic undertaking.”

In addition to Sphinx, the consortium includes thirteen orchestras from across the country. The founding members of the Consortium include the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, our nation’s most diverse orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy.

The Sphinx Organization was established in 1996 by Aaron Dworkin with a mission to increase Black and Latino participation in music schools, as professional musicians, as classical music audiences, and to administer youth development initiatives in underserved communities through music education. In addition to the annual Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latino string players, the organization’s educational programs reach over 35,000 students across the country annually.

The Sphinx Organization envisions a world in which classical music reflects cultural diversity and plays a role in the everyday lives of youth. Its website is http://www.SphinxMusic.org/ [Aaron P. Dworkin is profiled at AfriClassical.com]

Sphinx+Organization" rel="tag">Sphinx Organization
Commissioning+Consortium" rel="tag">Commissioning Consortium
Black+Composers" rel="tag">Black Composers
Latino+Composers" rel="tag">Latino Composers
13+Orchestras" rel="tag">13 Orchestras
classical+music" rel="tag">classical music

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