Sphinx Organization conference to boost call for classical music diversity

Posted on: December 14, 2012

In Monday’s (12/10) Crain’s Detroit Business, Sherri Welch writes, “Sphinx Organization founder Aaron Dworkin has already made strides in increasing the number of classical musicians of color. Now, he and Detroit-based Sphinx want to help elevate diversity among all performing arts across the U.S. and other countries. Sphinx is spearheading what it says is the world’s first international conference on diversity in the performing arts in Detroit Feb. 15-17, with support and participation from arts leaders across the country and beyond. The conference will overlap the annual Sphinx Competition, which takes place Feb. 13-17 and offers young black and Latino classical string players a chance to compete before an internationally renowned panel of judges and perform with established professional musicians. … Black and Latino musicians represented just 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent percent of the members of orchestras nationwide when Sphinx was founded [in 1996], Dworkin said. Today, they represent a combined 4.4 percent. … Dubbed ‘SphinxCon,’ the conference will feature 35 or more notable speakers representing prominent U.S. arts organizations such as the Washington, D.C.-based John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; International Society for the Performing Arts in New York; Grantmakers in the Arts; League of American Orchestras; and the Center for Black Music Research—and international groups such as the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and El Sistema Europe.”

Tony Ding/AP Photo

Posted December 14, 2012