November 10, 2021
Sphinx Organization Announces Recipients of Sphinx Venture Fund Project Grants Totaling Nearly $300,000

Funded projects include:

Inaugural Nina Simone Piano Competition for Black pianists

Inaugural New York City Opera’s Duncan-Williams Voice Competition for Black and Latinx emerging singers

Composing Inclusion, a partnership between The Juilliard School, the New York Philharmonic, and American Composers Forum

DETROIT, MICHIGAN (NOVEMBER 10, 2021) — The Sphinx Organization has announced three recipients of its Sphinx Venture Fund for 2022, awarding two grants of $100,000 and one grant of $97,500 for projects that meet the fund’s mission to support initiatives designed to solve a challenge or an issue related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in classical music. Sphinx—the social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts—launched the Sphinx Venture Fund in 2020 with the goal of investing $1.5 million over five years. The 2022 recipients are the third cohort to receive grants. They are:

Pianist and President and Artistic Director of the Art of the Piano Festival & Foundation Awadagin Pratt and the inaugural Nina Simone Piano Competition to be presented in partnership with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati ($100k).

Manhattan School of Music’s Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice President for Special Initiatives Alexa Smith and the inaugural New York City Opera’s Duncan-Williams Voice Competition ($97.5k).

Dean of the Preparatory Division at The Juilliard School, Weston Sprott, for Composing Inclusion, a partnership between Juilliard, the New York Philharmonic, and American Composers Forum that will commission, premiere, and publish nine new works with flexible orchestration by Black and Latinx composers to be performed side-by-side by musicians of varying skill levels ($100k).

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