DETROIT (WWJ) – The 18th annual Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latino string players begins this week.

Young Black and Latino musicians from across the country will once again compete for exclusive performances, scholarships and $50,000 in cash.

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Afa Dworkin is the executive and artistic director of the organization and she says the Sphinx competition has allowed for more musical opportunities to minority string players than before the competition began 18 years ago.

“Back when this competition began, nationally, approximately 3 percent of orchestras were Black and Latino combined. Today, the numbers have gone marginally but they have grown and now about 4.2 percent combined and in addition to that in the top tier of professional American orchestras the number of African American musicians have actually doubled,” said Dworkin.

She says that 18 semi-finalists from around the country will be competing in live rounds in addition to roughly 300 people coming together to discuss the issues and challenges surrounding diversity and inclusion in the arts.

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“Twenty years ago it was sort of unheard of that there would be an emerging young Black and Latino soloist appearing with a major orchestra in the country – today – it happens approximately 20 times or more a year,” Dworkin.

The Sphinx competition will be held will be held  Wednesday thru Sunday at the Max M Fisher music center.

Tickets to the finals concert on Sunday are available at the Max M Fisher box office. Find more information on Sphinx Organization [here].

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