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Finalists Announced at Detroit's 2022 Sphinx Competition


The Sphinx Organization, a US non-profit organization dedicated to the development of young American Black and Latin classical musicians, hosts a competition and conference every year to showcase young talent throughout America.

Originally slated to be held in Detroit with in-person participation, both events have now pivoted to virtual-only owing to uncertainty over the COVID-19 variant developments.


The 2022 Junior Division Finalists (17 years and under) are:

  • Ana Isabella España (Violin)

  • Brandon Leonard (Cello)

  • Jonathan Okseniuk (Violin)

The 2022 Senior Division Finalists (18 to 30 years old) are:

  • Kebra-Seyoun Charles (Double Bass)

  • Gabriela Lara (Violin)

  • Harper Randolph (Viola)

For this year, all candidates will perform their repertoire with a collaborative pianist submitted by video. Historically, the six Sphinx finalists from both divisions have performed live with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra at Detroit's Orchestra Hall.

The top prize in this year's Senior Division will receive the $USD 50,000 Robert Frederick Smith Prize plus a number of solo appearances with major orchestras. The Junior 1st prize winner will receive US $10,000, a number of solo engagements plus a nationally-broadcast radio appearance on 'From The Top'. Audience prizes will also be awarded in both categories.

For the Junior Division Final Round, each competitor will perform either the first movement from Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4, Hoffmeister's Viola Concerto, Haydn's Cello Concerto in C Major or Koussevitsky's Double-Bass Concerto.

For the Senior Division Final Round, each competitor will perform the first movement from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Violin Concerto in G Minor, the fourth movement of the Roberto Sierra Viola Concerto, the first movement of Heitor Villa-Lobos' Cello Concerto No. 2, or the third movement of Andres Martin's Double-Bass Concerto No. 1.

All semi-finalists and finalists will also have access to scholarships and fine instrument loans through the Sphinx Music Assistance Fund.



"We have made the difficult decision to hold the 25th Annual Sphinx Competition and SphinxConnect: Forging Alliances conference virtually with no in-person participation," Sphinx Foundation Executive Director Afa Dworkin this week said.

"The decision was made in light of the uncertainty over the COVID-19 variant development and ultimately to ensure the well-being of our community."

The 2022 competition jury comprises Zuill Bailey, Danielle Belen, Juan-Miguel Hernandez, Patrice Jackson, Midori, Laura Snyder, and Melissa White.

Previous prize winners include VC Artists Xavier Foley, Gabriel Martins, Sterling Elliott, Santiago Cañon Valencia, Randall Goosby and Jordan Bak.

The Final Competition Round will be streamed live on The Violin Channel on January 29th at 7:00 PM (ET).



The parallel SphinxConnect conference will take place from Thursday, January 27 through Saturday, January 29 online also with more than 70 speakers participating in over 20 sessions. This year's distinguished guest speakers include Grammy and MacArthur Award-winning musician and Artistic Director of Silkroad, Rhiannon Giddens, and The Juilliard School Preparatory Division Dean Weston Sprott.

The Violin Channel will also stream a number of selected live discussions from the conference.

Full schedule and registration details are available at: www.sphinxmusic.org/sphinxconnect



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