Music Institute Students Sweep National Sphinx Competition
The Music Institute of Chicago has swept the 15th annual national Sphinx Competition. Music Institute Academy violinist Adé Williams (student of Almita Vamos) won First Place Laureate in the Junior Division and Music Institute cello alumnus Gabriel Cabezas (previous winner of the Junior Division in 2006) was named First Place Laureate in the Senior Division. Two additional Music Institute of Chicago Academy students advanced to the semi-final round of the Junior Division: violists Caitlin Adamson (student of Desiree Ruhstrat) and Mira Williams (student of Marko Dreher).
During the competition week February 8–12, semi-finalists received coaching and master classes from a distinguished jury and rehearsed and performed in chamber groups. The Junior Division Honors Concert featured the three Junior Division finalists competing for final placement, accompanied by the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra on February 10. The Finals Concert, hosted by the Detroit Symphony at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit, Michigan on February 12, featured the top three Senior Division finalists competing for placement, accompanied by the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra.
First place laureates receive significant cash prizes as well as performance opportunities with major orchestras, and all semi-finalists in both divisions may be eligible for full scholarships to attend a wide variety of top summer education programs, camps, and festivals. In addition, all semi-finalists in both divisions receive a Sphinx Music Assistance Fund scholarship in partnership with the League of American Orchestras, which each student can apply to his/her musical development.
Music Institute of Chicago and Sphinx
The Music Institute of Chicago has a history of achievement in the Sphinx Competition. Music Institute students have won the Junior Division in four of the past seven years:
• 2012 – Adé Williams, violin
• 2011 – Alexandra Switala, violin
• 2008 – Clayton Penrose-Whitmore, violin
• 2006 – Gabriel Cabezas, cello
All the Music Institute of Chicago musicians in the Sphinx Competition are (or were) students at the Music Institute’s prestigious Academy for gifted pre-college musicians.
Listen to an Performance Today interview with Aaron Dworkin, founder and president of the Sphinx Organization about the value of diversity in art.
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