February 24, 2014

Congratulations to violinist Clayton Penrose-Whitmore ’15, student of Nicholas Kitchen, who was named second place Laureate in the senior division of the Sphinx Competition. The competition took place February 19—23, in Detroit, MI where its key artistic partner is the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Max M. Fisher Music Center. The Sphinx Competition offers young Black and Latino classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with established professional musicians in a competition setting. Its primary goals are to encourage, develop and recognize classical music talent in the Black and Latino communities.

Penrose-Whitmore, 20, hails from Springfield, Illinois and previously won the Junior Division competition in 2008, when he was 14. He has also toured with the Sphinx Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra composed of Competition alumni. NEC has a history of students being honored by Sphinx. Last year, Lev Mamuya won the junior division and Christine Lamprea won the senior division.  

Clayton Penrose-Whitmore Biography
Clayton Penrose-Whitmore, 20, attends New England Conservatory where he is a violin performance major studying with faculty member Nicholas Kitchen.

He  was the First Place Junior Division Laureate in the 2008 Sphinx Competition. He has appeared as a soloist with the New World Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Hartford Symphony, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Ypsilanti Symphony, the Jacksonville Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the Alton Symphony Orchestra.

As a member of the Emerald String Quartet, Clayton was awarded the Silver Medal in the Junior Division at the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. The quartet also received the Gold Medal at the 2010 Saint Paul String Quartet Competition. They were awarded first place in the Jules M. Laser Chamber Music Competition and were the Open Division Overall Winner of the Chicago National Chamber Music Competition.

He attended the Aspen Music Festival from 2010 through 2012. He has also studied at the Heifetz International Music Institute, and the Okemo Young Artists Program.

Before coming to NEC, he was a student in the Academy Program of the Music Institute of Chicago for four years, where he studied with faculty members Almita and Roland Vamos.


DO NOT FEAR MISTAKES. THERE ARE NONE. MILES DAVIS