At 7 pm on Saturday, Jan 30 the Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latinx classical string players will be held online, and prizes up to $50,000 will be awarded to the three senior and three junior finalists. As president and artistic director Afa Dworkin tells Cara Lieurance, although it's not an in-person competition this year, there will be suspense as the pre-recorded performances are streamed and adjudicated in real time as the finalists look on. For maximum accessibility, it will be a free event, streamed at sphinxmusic.org.
SphinxConnect, which runs Jan 28-30, will draw hundreds of arts leaders and performers together to work on inclusion and diversity in the arts by focusing on a variety of topics. It is now in its 5th year. Dworkin encourages anyone in performance, arts education, or arts organization to register. A pay-what-you-can option is available this year.
In its 24 years, the Sphinx Organization has launched the careers of successful solo artists, chamber ensembles, and orchestras, reached millions of school-aged kids, and seen growth in the diversity of American orchestras. Dworkin says perhaps the greatest outcome of this effort has been the community formed among its 800+ program participants, as the seasons produce yearly cohorts of outstanding talent.