By Bernie Petit
When the Sphinx Virtuosi performs, its sound rivals many fully professional orchestras.
It just doesn’t fit the stereotypical image some folks have of traditional classical music ensembles.
Consisting of top alumni of the national Sphinx Competition for young black and Latino string players, Sphinx Virtuosi is a conductor-less professional chamber orchestra that is challenging perceptions about classical music in the United States.
You can see and hear why when the group performs in Charlotte on Thursday, Oct. 1, at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. Its program, “Inspiring Women,” will feature a collection of works written by women composers and inspired by great women.
The theme pays tribute to composers throughout history whose works are seldom heard but merit awareness and recognition, along with repertoire already well loved by audiences.
It’s a fitting match – the works of women composers, often overlooked in classical music, being performed by black and Latino musicians, traditionally underrepresented in professional orchestras.
It’s a timely one, too.
Conversations abound about how to make classical music more relevant to a contemporary audience. One possible way to increase the classical music audience is to encourage talented young instrumentalists of color to pursue classical music.
Encouraging those musicians to play the more seldom presented works by women and composers of color, in addition to masterpieces by Bach, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Mozart and others, wouldn’t hurt either.
It’s not traditional, but then again, neither is the Sphinx Virtuosi.
Want to Go?
Sphinx Virtuosi, presented by Knight Foundation, ASC and Blumenthal Performing Arts, will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3301 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte. Tickets are $8. Click here to purchase tickets.