Sphinx Competition

The Sphinx Competition is a national competition offering young Black and Latinx classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges, and to perform with and receive mentorship from established professional musicians. Prizes range from $3,000 to the top $50,000 Robert Frederick Smith Prize. The Sphinx Competition is held every year in Detroit, Michigan.

Sphinx Competition Winners With NEC Affiliations


Gabriel Martins ’21 MM (cello) | First Prize, Senior Division

Jordan Bak ’16 (viola) | Third Prize, Senior Division


Gabriel Martins ’21 MM (cello) | Third Prize, Senior Division


Thomas Mesa ’08 Prep | First Prize, Senior Division


Clayton Penrose-Whitmore ’15 | Second Prize, Senior Division


Lev Mamuya, NEC Preparatory School (cello) | Second Prize, Junior Division

Tristan Flores, NEC Preparatory School (violin) | Third Prize, Junior Division

Danielle Wiebe ‘13 (viola) | Third Prize, Senior Division

More about the Sphinx Competition