VC INTERVIEW | Sphinx Group President and Creative Director Afa S. Dworkin

(Picture credit score: Shawn Lee)


In preparation for the Sphinx Competitors Finals and SphinxConnect Convention subsequent week, The Violin Channel caught up with Sphinx Group President and Creative Director, Afa S. Dworkin.

The ultimate spherical of the Junior and Senior Divisions of this yr’s competitors will likely be streamed just about, but reside, right here on The Violin Channel on January twenty ninth at 7:00 PM (ET).


Completely happy anniversary! Congratulations on 25 years of actually impactful initiatives and for the laborious work you, your colleagues, and lots of predecessors have completed. How does it really feel?

We’re so happy with the accomplishments of our artists and the unbelievable community of leaders on and off stage, setting new requirements of excellence!

How did the Sphinx Group begin and what was the preliminary dream supporting it?

Sphinx was launched 25 years in the past with the inaugural Sphinx Competitors for younger Black and Latinx string gamers.  The intention was to establish, nurture and help essentially the most proficient younger artists.  It’s a program that was meant to empower many.  Right now, Sphinx is a motion that’s remodeling lives.

Why did Mr. Dworkin really feel so strongly it was wanted on the time?

Himself a Black violinist, he usually was the one one or certainly one of lower than a handful in most musical settings.  He aimed to alter that narrative and to offer a stage to the various deserving voices, for the nice of our artists in addition to our complete subject.

Your group has been in a position to obtain a lot, however are you able to please inform us about just a few of the most important milestones which have occurred over time?

There are a selection of great milestones.  Celebrating 25 years, 850+ alumni, 4.5 M awarded in prizes and scholarships, and the inventive journeys of 4 touring ensembles make the record!

When you can slim it to at least one, which Sphinx accomplishment would you say you and your group are most happy with?

Maybe the truth that throughout these difficult instances, now we have seen a higher curiosity in our packages, an general applicant pool progress of 60 %, and the truth that our artists innovated and weren’t silenced. Standing by and serving to to amplify their voices has been our biggest honor, by way of digital and lives excursions, by way of innovating efforts they’ve launched, and the methods wherein they’ve uplifted each other. Returning to the stage of Carnegie Corridor this previous fall felt like a historic fruits, celebrating their resilience.

What actual floor do you’re feeling has been achieved in our business in the direction of closing the racial hole since 1997?

Most critically, it’s the change within the narrative.  Sphinx has been in a position to assist set up and underscore the truth that expertise and excellence are plentiful in Black and Brown communities.

What extra do you’re feeling nonetheless must be completed?

A extra systemic, inside-out, top-to-bottom dedication on behalf of the sector to prioritize illustration past phrases and statements, however by way of extra knowledgeable programming and by creating alternatives that steadiness our ecosystem in a steady and genuine method.  Illustration should grow to be the norm, not an event of observe.

What would you prefer to ask of the business to help?

To do the correct factor when nobody is trying, writing, acknowledging.  Recruit, reward, retain, nurture, embrace, empower all voices.  To take action, we should first prioritize these which have been excluded and silenced.

What are the objectives for the Sphinx Group’s future?

To proceed to serve our subject, our artists, and our communities by way of packages that span inventive youth growth to arts management.

What profession and private recommendation do you’ve got for younger Latino and Black musicians all all over the world?

A message of belonging and empowerment: we wish to hear your voices and amplify them.

How can we watch this yr’s Sphinx competitors finals?

7 pm, Jan twenty ninth, Fb Stay, or instantly linked from  Do not forget to forged your vote!

What can the laureates of the competitors anticipate to win? And the way do you go about serving to them on an ongoing foundation?

They are going to compete for 100K in prizes, together with the 50K Robert Frederick Smith Prize, together with entry to scholarships and efficiency alternatives with dozens of orchestras and different venues.  Ours is a healthful strategy to their artist growth and we work with every of them year-round to help their endeavors.

If we wish to help your work, how can we achieve this?

Try our Twenty fifth-anniversary touchdown web page, put money into our work and assist us unfold the phrase! fifth-anniversary



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