Semi-Finalists Announced for Detroit’s 2023 Sphinx Competition

Showcasing young American Black and Latinx classical string players, the competition selected 11 junior and 10 senior division semi-finalists

2019 Sphinx Competition Winner Sterling Elliott


The national Sphinx Competition is an annual event that offers young Black and Latinx classical string players the opportunity to perform before an internationally renowned jury and be mentored by top industry professionals. 


The Junior Division Semi-Finalists (17 years and under) are:

  • Brandon Leonard (Cello)
  • Alette Williams (Violin)
  • Samuel Garcia (Violin) 
  • Devin O’Brien (Double Bass)
  • Vincent Garcia-Hettinger (Cello)
  • Noah Carr (Violin)
  • Anthony Dorsey (Violin)
  • Jan Vargas Nedvetsky (Cello)
  • Quincy Eby (Viola)
  • Gabriela Salvador Riera (Violin)
  • William Miguel Johnson (Cello)


The Senior Division Semi-Finalists (18 to 30 years old) are:

  • Njioma Chinyere Grevious (Violin) 
  • Nathaniel De La Cruz (Double Bass)
  • Andres Sanchez (Cello)
  • Dillon Scott (Viola)
  • Aaron Olguin (Bass) 
  • Luiz Fernando Venturelli (Cello)
  • Harper Randolph (Viola)
  • Ramón Carrero-Martínez (Viola)
  • Alexandra Switala (Violin)
  • Thierry de Lucas Neves (Violin)


The competition finals will be held between January 26–28, 2023. Finalists in both the junior and senior divisions will have the opportunity to perform with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, which comprises all Black and Latinx orchestral professionals. 

Prizes include the $50,000 first prize in the senior category and the $10,000 top prize in the junior section. Additionally, all semi-finalists and finalists will have access to scholarships and fine instruments through the Sphinx Music Assistance Fund.

The 2023 jury comprises Joseph Conyers, Zuill Bailey, Juan-Miguel Hernandez, Patrice Jackson, Jennifer Koh, Michael Kondziolka, and Erik Ronmark.

“We are excited to announce the semi-finalists of the Sphinx Competition 2023,” the organization wrote. “Finalists in both divisions have the opportunity to…compete for $100,000 in prizes, including the top Robert F. Smith Prize. Audience choice awards are an exciting highlight, as those in attendance cast their votes by text and select a winner in each division.”

For more about the semi-finalists, click here.

The Junior and Senior Final will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at 7:30 PM ET.

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