Detroit Public Television presents the Finals Concert of the 21st annual Sphinx Competition. Starring outstanding young Black and Latino string players vying for cash prizes of up to $50,000, contest also gives young string players an opportunity to solo with an orchestra of established professional musicians, as well as experiencing what it is like to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges.
Here’s The Sphinx Competition at 21: A Celebration of Music and Diversity:
The Sphinx Organization is a Detroit-based nonprofit, which since 1997 has been dedicated to encouraging diversity in classical music and the other arts.
As a young black violinist, its founder, Aaron Dworkin, noticed the lack of diversity both on the stage and in the audience. Now, under the leadership of President and long-time Artistic Director Afa Dworkin, Sphinx’s many programs involve over 100,000 students, and its live and broadcast events reach another two million annually.
Open to all Junior High, High School, and College age Black and Latino string players residing in the U.S., the Sphinx Competition offers young Black and Latino classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with established professional musicians in a competition setting.
The Junior Division Honors Concert were held Friday, Feb. 2 and the Senior Division Finals Concert on Sunday, Feb. 4.
For those who’ve never attended the Finals concerts, the Sphinx Competition represents a test of artistic skills and more. Like athletes, top musicians must possess physical strength and endurance, along with finely practiced skills, incredible intellectual faculties, and focused prodigal talent. The Sphinx Competition’s primary goals are to encourage, develop and recognize classical music talent in the Black and Latino communities.
The image above depicts Rubén Rengel, 2018 Robert Frederick Smith Prize winner. The photo was taken by Kevin Kennedy.