Part of: Weekends at Carnegie Hall
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.
The Sphinx Virtuosi performance and gala is made possible with lead support from JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Sander and Norma K. Buchman Fund, and the Kirkland & Ellis Foundation.
The Sphinx Virtuosi is one of the nation’s most dynamic chamber orchestras. 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, self-conducted ensemble debuted at Carnegie Hall in December 2004 and has returned annually since 2006. Allan Kozinn of The New York Times described their performance as “first-rate in every way” with “more beautiful, precise, and carefully shaped sound than some fully professional orchestras that come through Carnegie Hall in the course of the year.”
The Sphinx Virtuosi continue to garner critical acclaim during their annual national tours to many leading venues around the country, while also performing extensive outreach in underserved schools and community groups in those cities.
The Sphinx Organization is a Detroit-based national organization that is dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Led by President and Artistic Director Afa S. Dworkin, Sphinx programs reach more than 100,000 students, as well as live and broadcast audiences of more than 2 million annually. Ms. Dworkin’s work has been recognized globally. She was named one of Musical America’s 30 Most Influential People and one of Detroit’s 40 Under 40 by Crain’s Detroit Business, in addition to being a frequent speaker on the importance of inclusion and music education at conferences nationwide and abroad, including the League of American Orchestras, Chamber Music America, Americans for the Arts, International Festival of Arts & Ideas, and beyond. Ms. Dworkin also serves on the faculty of Roosevelt University.
The organization’s founding and mission were informed by the life experiences of Aaron P. Dworkin, who, as a young Black violinist, was acutely aware of the lack of diversity both on stage and in the audience in concert halls. He founded Sphinx, while an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, to address the stark underrepresentation of people of color in classical music. President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts, Mr. Dworkin is now professor for art entrepreneurship and leadership at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
Sphinx works to create positive change in the arts field and in communities across the country through a variety of programs organized into four main principles: education and access, artist development, performing artists, and arts leadership. Visit sphinxmusic.org for more information.