Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sphinx Monthly Headlines: Robert Smith Presented with Sphinx Trailblazer Award During Sphinx Virtuosi Performance at Carnegie Hall October 20, 2016

Monthly Headlines

Robert Smith Presented with Sphinx
Trailblazer Award

During the October 20 Sphinx Virtuosi performance at Carnegie Hall, the Sphinx Organization was thrilled to present Robert Smith with the first Sphinx Trailblazer Award, in recognition for his commitment to social justice and the arts. The award was presented by Aaron Dworkin, Dr. William H. Carson, and Afa S. Dworkin. 

Robert Smith with the Sphinx Virtuosi. 
(Photo: Brian Hatton Photography)

"another...brilliant, fierce, dedicated, and inspiring programs...celebrating the eve of their twentieth year of standing as a sort of rebuke to the hidebound institutions of classical music-insisting on representation, participation, education, and development of Black and Latino musicians...beautifully played...absolutely haunting."

"White commanded every bit of the work, with perfect intonation, technique, flair, swing: in short, everything one could ask for from a violinist, of any age."

"Catalyst Quartet was in stunning form, with elegiac sound, and great flexibility due to listening intently to each other."

"The energy was almost unbearable, in a good way!"

"The sum total of all Sphinx Organization activities is much more important than any one concert given: may their efforts not only thrive but increase."

The 20th Annual Sphinx Competition takes place in Detroit, MI from February 8-12, 2017. Sphinx invites 18 of the most talented Black and Latino string musicians (violin, viola, cello, and string bass). Applicants up to age 30 are now eligible to apply.

The Sphinx Competition features two exciting concerts of our Junior and Senior Division laureates. In addition, the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra welcomes the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club and Maestro Eugene Rogers as they perform "Seven Last Words of the Unarmed." A powerful, multi-movement work by Atlanta-based composer Joel Thompson, the song uses the last words of black male victims of police violence as its emotional centerpiece.

Honors Concert - February 10, 2017 at 12pm - FREE
Finals Concert - February 12, 2017 at 2pm - $15 general admission

Inaugural Sphinx Diversity Fellow Announced

Violist Jennifer Arnold has been chosen as the Inaugural Sphinx Diversity Fellow. Designed to transform the career trajectory of those seeking a life in arts administration, we are excited to welcome Jennifer to this new position and look forward to working with her on a number of Sphinx projects until June 2017! 

The Overture program delivers access to music education in Detroit and Flint, Michigan. We welcome our newest teachers to the roster; Kristina Willey, Vanessa Kestner, David Krawczyk, Larissa Verley, and Lauryn Magno!
Learn more about Overture at 

Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's (CSO) Diversity Fellowship program provides an unparalleled learning experience for violin, viola, cello and double bass players coming from populations that are historically underrepresented in classical music. Earn your graduate degree while performing with a professional orchestra.
The deadline to apply is Dec. 1, 2016.
To apply online and for application and audition requirements,

Angie Durrell

Angie Durrell appeared on Univision to speak about their Fall benefit concert, Americana Music Fusion.

Watch the entire video on YouTube


The PUBLIQuartet, whose member Jannina Norpoth is a Sphinx alum, improvised a soundtrack to the entire 90 minute debate live on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Lara Downes released her solo album America Again worldwide on Sono Luminus on October 28. 2016. Inspired by Langston Hughes's poem Let America Be America Again, this recording features music that explores the elusive but essential American dream, written by composers including Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Morton Gould, Scott Joplin, Angélica Negrón, Florence Price, David Sanford, Dan Visconti, and others.

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