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Double bassist wins $50,000 Sphinx prize

Xavier Foley is the first bassist ever to win the Detroit competition for Black and Latino musicians

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Xavier Foley (pictured) has become the first double bassist ever to win the Sphinx Competition in Detroit. The 19-year-old, who studies with Hal Robinson and Edgar Meyer at the Curtis Institute, received a $50,000 scholarship prize, as well as the audience choice award.

In the junior division cellist Sterling Elliott, 14, won the $10,000 first prize. Elliott studies privately with Mike Daniels, principal cellist of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Elsewhere in the competition, 20-year-old violinist Clayton Penrose-Whitmore, from Chicago, won the senior division second prize, and third place went to 21-year old cellist Nicholas Mariscal, from Tucson, Arizona. Prizes in the junior division went to two Chicago-based musicians: violist Mira Williams, 15, and violinist Hannah White, 13, who came second and third respectively.

The competition, hosted by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for Black and Latino musicians, is now in its 17th year. The jury comprised Paul Katz, Ida Kavafian, Charles Letourneau, Donald McInnes, Melissa White, Kathleen Winkler and Sonia Vega. Competitors performed with the Black and Latino Sphinx Symphony Orchestra.  

Photo: Glenn Triest


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