For those of us who love exquisite music and believe in diversity in the arts, this weekend is one of the high points of the year. It begins Thursday evening with SphinxConnect, two-plus days of speakers, networking and performers and then culminates with the Finals Concert in the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latino classical string players who live in the U.S.
If you can’t join the activities in person, not to fear — you can watch them live at dptv.org/sphinx . Detroit Public Television is proud to, once again, bring you wall-to-wall coverage of this important conference and competition.
The Sphinx Organization is a Detroit-based nonprofit, which since 1997 has been dedicated to encouraging diversity in music and the other arts. As a young black violinist, its founder and true visionary, Aaron Dworkin, noticed sadly the lack of diversity both on the stage and in the audience. Now, in the very capable hands of President and long-time Artistic Director Afa Dworkin, Sphinx programs involve over 100,000 students, and its live and broadcast events reach another two million annually.
The conference kicks off at the Renaissance Center Marriott with a plenary session on Thursday evening and then offers two full days of programming on Friday and Saturday, including more than 30 sessions devoted to diversity in classical music, over 60 speakers on a range of crucial topics, performances by the some of the nation’s top musicians, and – perhaps most importantly – the opportunity to connect with more than 250 musicians of color.
Then on Sunday, the action moves to Orchestra Hall for the 21st annual Sphinx Competition Finals Concert, featuring young Black and Latino string players vying for cash prizes of up to $50,000 and the opportunity to solo with major orchestras, as well as experiencing what it is like to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with established professional musicians.
Watch the live-stream at dptv.org/sphinx tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 8:45 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 1:45 to 4 p.m.