Sphinx Venture Fund awards $100K grants to Awadagin Pratt, Alexa Smith, Weston Sprott

Posted on: November 11, 2021

“Sphinx Organization has announced three recipients of its Sphinx Venture Fund for 2022 [supporting] initiatives designed to solve a challenge or an issue related to DEI [diversity, equity, inclusion] in classical music,” writes Bill Cieslewicz in Wednesday’s (11/10) Cincinnati Business Courier. “Awadagin Pratt … has been awarded a $100,000 grant for the inaugural Nina Simone Piano Competition, to be presented in summer 2023 at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music. The competition for young African American pianists … will be held every two years [and] has a goal of directly supporting more than 100 African American pianists by its ninth year and also aims to commission new works.… The 2022 recipients are the third cohort to receive grants. This year’s other grants recipients: Alexa Smith, Manhattan School of Music’s chief of staff and assistant vice president for special initiatives, and the inaugural New York City Opera’s Duncan-Williams Voice Competition ($97,500). Weston Sprott, dean of the Preparatory Division at the Juilliard School, 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 ($100,000).”