The Sphinx Organization and Sphinx Performance Academy are proud to partner with the Curtis Institute of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music for its SPA 2018 programming.

SPA at Curtis Summerfest
June 10- 24, 2018

SPA at Cleveland Institute of Music
July 21- August 4, 2018

Application Deadline:
Wednesday, April 11, 2018


The Sphinx Performance Academy (SPA) is a full-scholarship chamber music and solo performance program designed for Black and Latino violin, viola, and cello players, ages 11-17. The SPA curriculum includes an intensive schedule of private lessons and chamber music in addition to master classes, recitals, career enrichment sessions, and mentorship tailored for each student.

Faculty for SPA 2018 includes Astrid Schween (Juilliard String Quartet, The Juilliard School), Si-Yan Darren Li (Cavani Quartet, Cleveland Institute of Music), and distinguished Curtis, Cleveland Institute, and Sphinx Competition alumni, including members of the Catalyst Quartet. For full faculty listings for each SPA session, please see below.

 For more testimonials, pictures, and fun facts, join the Sphinx Performance Academy facebook group or follow Sphinx Performance Academy on instagram.

I have grown because of Sphinx and will continue to grow propelled by the tremendous support of the Sphinx community. Where I will go is undetermined, but I know I will go far. Sphinx has ensured it.

Gabrielle Hooper

Sphinx Performance Academy alum

Since returning from SPA – CIM, not a day goes by that Sphinx doesn’t come up in one way or another in our house.  From daily communication with SPA friends, to Iren’s approach to practicing and playing, to the musical and life lessons learned in master and theory classes, impromptu jam sessions, chamber practice, the practice room, and the dorm room, SPA has made a lasting, significant mark.

Sphinx Performance Academy Parent


Both Sessions:
Karla Donehew Perez, violin (Catalyst Quartet)
Jessie Montgomery, violin (Catalyst Quartet)
Jennifer Arnold, viola (Oregon Symphony)
Paul Laraia, viola (Catalyst Quartet)
Karlos Rodriguez, cello (Catalyst Quartet)
Mary Ann Ramos, cello (Northern Arizona University)

SPA Curtis:
Jannina Norpoth, violin (PUBLIQuartet)
Elena Urioste, violin (Soloist, Intermission Sessions & Retreat)
Melissa White, violin (Harlem Quartet, Intermission Sessions & Retreat)
Astrid Schween, cello (Juilliard String Quartet, The Juilliard School)

SPA Cleveland Institute of Music:
Kyle Lombard, violin (Washington University in St. Louis)
Sami Merdinian, violin (Sybarite 5)
Si-Yan Darren Li, cello (Cavani Quartet, Cleveland Institute of Music)

  • Eligible Instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello
  • Participants must be 11-17 years of age
  • Participants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents in the U.S.
  • Participants must be Black or Latino/a descent
Applications are processed online. Start your application now at SphinxSpa.FluidReview.com

Online Application Requirements:

1. Completed Application Form
2. Full Repertoire List
3. Personal Statement – At least 150-200 words expressing why you want to attend the Sphinx Performance Academy.
4. High Resolution Headshot (Mininum 300 dpi)
5. Scanned copy of birth certificate or document indicating US citizenship or legal residence
6. No registration fee is required.

Audition Video Requirement

Two separate videos. iPhone videos are accepted as long as the audio and video are clear.

1. Perform one 3-octave scale in any key
2. Perform a piece or movement of your choice with or without piano accompaniment. The selection should be at least 2-3min in length. An etude, piece, or movement of a concerto or sonata will be accepted.

Each video file should contain only one piece. Please allow sufficient time to prepare and upload videos. Videos uploaded must be smaller than one gigabyte (1G) in size.  The following file types are supported:

  • mp4 (preferred)
  • Quicktime (.mov)
  • AVI
  • MPEG (.mpg, .mpeg)
  • Windows Media (.wmv)
  • Flash Video (.flv, .f4v)

Repertoire List and High Resolution Headshot Requirements

File Types Supported:

  • PDF (preferred)
  • Microsoft Office (.doc, .ppt, .xls)
  • Microsoft Office 2007: Supported but not recommended (.docx, .pptx, .xlsx)
  • Open Office (.odt, .ott)
  • Images (.jpg, .gif)
  • Other Formats (.html, .xhtml, .txt, .rtf, .latex)

Please note that .docx, .pptx, and .xlsx formats are not entirely supported.  Please save your file types as .doc, .ppt or .xls respectively before uploading.

All accepted applicants for the Sphinx Performance Academy will receive a full scholarship to the program. Room and board is included in both locations for the two-week camps and each student is responsible for transportation to and from the program. Ground transportation is provided to and from the airport for students who are flying. Ground transportation will be covered for students only.

Quartet Auditions

Upon acceptance into the SPA program, participants will be given excerpts from standard quartet repertoire. Students are expected to learn the repertoire and audition on these excerpts and a prepared solo work on orientation day. Upon completion of the auditions, the faculty will then select the chamber ensemble groups. Chamber ensemble placements will be based solely on the participant’s audition.

Sample Daily Schedule at the Sphinx Performance Academy (subject to change)

8:00-9:00 am     Breakfast
9:00-12:15 pm   Individual Practice and Private Lessons
12:30-1:30 pm   Lunch
1:30-2:00 pm     Free Time
2:00-4:00 pm     Chamber Music Coachings
4:30-5:20 pm     Music Theory, Guest Lectures, Admissions Sessions
5:30-6:30 pm     Dinner
7:00-9:00 pm     Performances, Masterclasses, Enrichment Sessions

For more information, please contact:
313-877-9100 x708


Sphinx Organization
400 Renaissance Ctr Ste 2550
Detroit MI 48243
ph: 313-877-9100
fax: 313-887-0164


Sign Up Now

Copyright © 2018 Sphinx Organization
Privacy Policy