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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Sphinx Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary Season With Two Performances At Carnegie Hall

October Program Features NY Premiere of Music by Award-Winning Composer Jimmy López Alongside Music by Vivaldi, Beethoven, Michael Abels, and More

Winners of Internationally Renowned Sphinx Competition Perform in Zankel Hall this Spring 2018


(September 15, 2017) The Sphinx Organization, a Detroit-based organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, celebrates its 20th anniversary with two exciting programs at Carnegie Hall. The first is an appearance by the Sphinx Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra comprised of alumni of the internationally renowned Sphinx Competition, on Friday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. Titled Concerti per Venti, the program features string works from the Baroque era through present day. Presented in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, this wide-spanning program includes the New York premiere of Guardian of the Horizon: Concerto Grosso for Violin, Cello, and Strings, by award-winning composer Jimmy López. This work was co-commissioned by the Sphinx Organization, with the support of Linda and Stuart Nelson, Carnegie Hall, and New World Symphony in honor of Sphinx’s 20th Anniversary Celebration. The concert will also include works by Vivaldi, Beethoven, Nathan Milstein, and Michael Abels.

In spring 2018, Sphinx returns with Laureates of The Sphinx Competition, a chamber music performance featuring past winners of Sphinx’s annual competition for young Black and Latino string players. The May 3 performance in Zankel Hall includes dynamic solo and duo works, including the New York premieres of works by double bassist Xavier Foley (first prize winner of the 2014 Sphinx Competition), and award-winning young composer Gabriella Smith.

Sphinx has brought its eclectic programming to Carnegie Hall since 2004, performing to enthusiastic audiences and garnering critical acclaim along the way. “Our relationship with the Sphinx Organization has flourished over the past decade,” says Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson. “We have always been great believers in their mission of advancing diversity in classical music and we are thrilled to present this incredibly talented group of young musicians during our upcoming season, joining in the celebration of Sphinx’s special anniversary year.”


Artist Information

The Sphinx Virtuosi is one of the nation's most dynamic professional chamber orchestras. Comprised of eighteen of the nation’s top Black and Latino classical soloists, these alumni of the internationally renowned Sphinx Competition come together each fall as cultural ambassadors to reach new audiences. This unique ensemble earned rave reviews from The New York Times during its highly acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut in December 2004 when critic Allan Kozinn described their performance as “first-rate in every way,” touting the ensemble’s “beautiful, precise and carefully shaped sound.”

The Sphinx Virtuosi have returned to Carnegie Hall each year since 2004, also embarking on annual national tours to many of the leading music venues around the country.

Inspired by Sphinx’s overarching mission, the Sphinx Virtuosi works to advance diversity in classical music while engaging young and new audiences through performances of varied repertoire. Masterpieces by Bach, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, and Mozart are performed alongside the more seldom presented works by composers of color, including Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, George Walker, Michael Abels, and Astor Piazzolla, among others. Members of the Sphinx Virtuosi have performed as soloists with America's major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, and the Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras. Members also hold professional orchestral positions, and several have been named laureates of other prestigious international competitions, including the Queen Elizabeth and Yehudi Menuhin. Roster members have completed and continue to pursue their advanced studies at the nation’s top music schools, including The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, Peabody Institute, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan. The Sphinx Virtuosi’s first recording was released in 2011 on the White Pine label and features music of Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Gabriela Lena Frank and George Walker.


Program Information

Friday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/ Perelman Stage


ANTONIO VIVALDI Concerto in B-flat Major for Violin, Cello, and Continuo, RV 547
JIMMY LÓPEZ Guardian of the Horizon: Concerto Grosso for Violin, Cello, and Strings (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
MICHAEL ABELS Delights and Dances

Tickets: $25–$80

Thursday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall 

Elena Urioste, Violin
Gabriel Cabezas, Cello
Xavier Foley, Bass
Tom Poster, Piano

ROBERT SCHUMANN Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102
OLIVIER MESSIAEN Theme and Variations
AMY BEACH Romance, Op. 23
REINHOLD GLIÈRE Intermezzo and Tarantella, Op. 9
XAVIER FOLEY Cranberry Juice (NY Premiere)
GABRIELLA SMITH New Work (NY Premiere)
MAURICE RAVEL Piano Trio in A Minor

Tickets: $25, $35

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

Ticket Information

Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website,

For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.

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