The Sphinx organization has announced the recipients of its 2022 Sphinx Venture Fund grants.
The winning projects are the First Nina Simone Piano Competition, the New York City Opera’s First Duncan-Williams Vocal Competition, and Composing Inclusion. The piano competition and Composing Inclusion will receive funding of $ 100,000 and the singing competition, $ 97,500.
The Nina Simone Piano Competition, named in honor of the American musician and civil rights activist, is an initiative of pianist and President and Artistic Director of the Art of the Piano Festival & Foundation Awadagin Pratt. The competition for young black pianists will be presented in partnership with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Winners will receive automatic admission to the Art of the Piano Festival, performance opportunities in Cincinnati and beyond, and cash prizes. The inaugural competition will take place in the summer of 2023 in Cincinnati.
The New York City Opera (NYCO) and the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) will launch the New York City Opera Duncan-Williams Voice Competition in 2023. The new Black and Latinx singers competition is named in honor of black opera singers of NYCO, baritone Todd Duncan (1903-1998) and soprano Camilla Williams (1919-2012). Finalists will present a concert at MSM’s Neidorff-Karpati Hall, with winners receiving cash prizes, NYCO contracts and mentors.
Composing Inclusion represents a partnership between the preparatory division of The Juilliard School, the New York Philharmonic and the American Composers Forum to commission black and Latin composers. Students, orchestral musicians and composers will collaborate to create nine works, premiering both virtually and in person at top-notch venues in New York City, including David Geffen Hall and the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Juilliard and the Paul Recital Hall. The works will also be published and shared with professional ensembles with music programs for young people across the country.