Photo of string instruments

Sphinx Performance Academy comes to Cleveland

In partnership with Case Western Reserve and the Cleveland Institute of Music

Through a unique educational partnership with the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), the Sphinx Organization and Case Western Reserve University, the prestigious Sphinx Performance Academy (SPA) will take place in Cleveland this summer, bringing 32 aspiring young musicians from around the country to the CIM and Case Western Reserve campuses.

SPA is a cornerstone program of the Sphinx organization’s mission to build diversity in the classical music world through educational programs, artistic development and arts leadership.

Recently recognized at a White House ceremony, Sphinx received the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the nation’s highest honor for a creative youth development program. Sphinx programs reach over 100,000 students, as well as live and broadcast audiences of over 2 million, annually. Through the SPA, Sphinx provides full scholarships to an intensive chamber music and solo performance program designed for aspiring Black and Latino string players, ages 12-17.

“We are truly grateful to CIM President and CEO Paul Hogle for his leadership and to CIM and Case Western Reserve University for their commitment and leadership support in making this partnership a reality. The Sphinx Performance Academy addresses the issue of quality training and development at a critical stage of the pipeline, by building a wholesome experience for young artists. It is a great privilege to realize our collective commitment to inclusion and excellence in concert with these legendary institutions,” said Afa S. Dworkin, president and artistic director for the Sphinx Organization.

During the two-week program, which runs from July 23 to Aug. 6, SPA students will live on the Case Western Reserve campus, study at CIM with Sphinx faculty and meet with admissions counselors from both schools to learn more about the music school admission process.

“For nearly two decades, I have been a passionate advocate for the Sphinx Organization’s lofty mission,” Hogle said. “Now, in collaboration with our incredible partners at CWRU, I am proud that CIM will be a new home for the Sphinx Performance Academy, allowing CIM to link arms with Sphinx and my dear friend Afa Dworkin, to literally help ‘change the face of the American orchestra.’ The talented troika of CIM, Sphinx and CWRU is proud to welcome these aspiring Black and Latino string players to Cleveland.”

Marilyn Sanders Mobley, Case Western Reserve’s vice president for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, who also serves on CIM’s board of trustees, said she was excited about the opportunity for both institutions to work together to advance diversity and inclusion.

“Our collaboration to bring the Sphinx Performance Academy to our campuses will not only open new pathways for Black and Latino student musicians, but it will also provide a unique opportunity for the Cleveland community to learn and hear how we are contributing to the next generation of artists,” she said.