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Watch and Listen: Sphinx Performance Academy Faculty Play Music by Composer Miguel Bernal Jimenez

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Sphinx Performance Academy Faculty in the WRTI Performance Studio with Host Susan Lewis after their performance of Cuarteto Vierreinal, by Mexican composer Miguel Bernal Jimenez

The Sphinx Performance Academy is an intensive summer program in partnership with The Curtis Institute of Music for middle and high school-aged Black and Latino string players. A faculty string quartet visited WRTI to perform Jimenez's Curartet Virreinal and chat with WRTI's Susan Lewis.

The Sphinx Performance Academy ('SPA') is a program of the Sphinx Organization, which has been working for over 20 years ago to increase representation of people of color in orchestras and other classical music. The Sphinx Performance Academy is a two week summer chamber music and solo performance program for string players ages 11 -17. The 2019 SPA has three locations, in collaboration with The Curtis Institute of Music (June 9-23), the Cleveland Institute of Music (July 6-20) and The Juillard School (July 24-August 3).

SPA faculty visiting WRTI included the following musicians, all of whom were also alumni of the larger Sphinx organization. They talked with Susan Lewis about how they became involved with Sphinx, their work with SPA, and how Sphinx is changing the face of classical music.

Musicians: Robyn Quinnett (violin), Javier Orman (violin), Jennifer Arnold (viola), Mary Ann Ramos (cello)

The WRTI Program featured Cuarteto Vierreinal, by Mexican composer Miguel Bernal Jimenez. Movements 1, 2, and 4 are each based on a traditional Mexican children's song.

Movement 1: Allegro

Movement 2: Zarabunda

Movement 3: Minuet and Trio

Movement 4: Finale

From its first competition in 1998, the Sphinx Organization has grown to a multifaceted effort with performing ensembles and programs in education, artist development and arts leadership. Today, Sphinx boasts a reach of over one-hundred thousand students and over 2 million audience members each year.

As senior producer of arts and culture, Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and producer of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series, to which she also contributes weekly intermission interviews. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.