GAL APPROVED! A Weekend In New York City With Sphinx Virtuosi and No.9By Delaina Dixon & Maureen Martin | October 27, 2023 | Gal Approved
Sphinx Virtuosi: A Classic Night with a Contemporary Twist
Ever wondered what an 18-person string orchestra sounds like? One word: fabulous! That was the DivaGals experience attending the Sphinx Virtuosi‘s annual Carnegie Hall this year. The stage was filled with exceptional Black and Latinx artists performing Generations, a rousing program of classical and contemporary compositions.
That included the New York premieres of “Habari Gani” by Quenton Blache and “Herencia” by Andrea Casarrubios. Carnegie Hall co-commissioned Sphinx Virtuosi member Xavier Foley‘s “Galaxy” (the space name for his composition, in homage to late,g great composers), which was performed with Kebra-Seyoun Charles. Soprano Aundi Marie Moore, a 2023 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient, made her Carnegie Hall debut with “VILLA-LOBOS Aria (Cantilena)” from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5.
The night ended with South African cellist and singer Abel Selaocoe showing us how string instruments resonate with the sounds of the motherland. We then joined these young, talented artists for a gala in Carnegie Hall’s Classic Spaces for an evening of fun and merriment.
Sphinx Virtuosi is part of The Sphinx Organization, a social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. It’s focused on increasing the representation of Black and Latinx artists in classical music and recognizing their excellence. Sphinx works with beginner students to seasoned classical music professionals, cultural entrepreneurs and administrators. Watching these dedicated Black and brown artists perform with passion and precision is exhilarating; every small child should see that when you drive forward with discipline and determination, you can achieve anything.
Sphinx Virtuosi is now on its international tour 2023-24. Visit sphnixmusic.org to learn more.
No.9: Refreshing. Unconventional. Intriguing
Created by award-winning theatrical creators ROLL THE BONES and collaborators Josh Cohen, Mark Rancourt, and The Umbrella, this immersive experience brings together strangers who leave knowing just a little more about one another. Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (between Wythe & Kent Aves., enter under the Eagle), our reservation included an hour-long experience in environment 1: “1986 – Asheville, N.C..” We won’t give away the details because everyone’s experience is slightly different, and we don’t want to spoil the magic.
Afterward, we enjoyed cocktails and sampled their signature menu in The Dead Letter restaurant and cocktail lounge.
Visit No.9 to collect your lost parcel and bring a friend… I will give away one little secret: Watch out for the peach moonshine!
photo credit: courtesy of Sphinx Organization; No9