The Catalyst Quartet perform at the Eighth Annual Sphinx Virtuosi Gala at Carnegie Hall in 2011. The Ninth Annual Gala is October 9 at 6 p.m. Photo by Nan Melville

American jazz trumpeter and bandleader Irvin Mayfield will headline the Sphinx Organization’s Ninth Annual Virtuosi gala and concert at Carnegie Hall at 6 p.m. tomorrow, featuring alumni of the critically acclaimed Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latino string players.

The gala’s program, “Music of the Americas,” and the post-show artist meet-and-greet, titled “The Afterglow Experience,” will raise money for scholarships, music education training, artist development projects, private lessons for students and a summer tuition-free program at Oberlin Conservatory. General admissions tickets are available at the box office or online for $25. (Tickets for The Afterglow Experience are more expensive.)  Ticket sales and corporate donations have already raised more than $2 million in scholarships.

Violinist Aaron Dworkin founded the Sphinx Organization in 1997 to promote and assist classical music education among blacks and Latinos. And over the course of the past 15 years, the Sphinx Organization has developed many young musicians and given them the courage, training and guidance to excel in their musical fields. Many Sphinx alumni have gone on to prestigious universities to continue their musical careers—careers that may have never existed without the Sphinx Organization.

Those affiliated with the organization say they are proud of the mission of Sphinx. “We have helped transform the lives of so many amazing young people who would have otherwise not had the opportunity to embrace classical music,” said Cassandra Seidenfeld Lyster, a member of the Sphinx’s national board of directors. For example, she continued, “I was completely blown away when I experienced the prodigy Randall Goosby, our 2010 Junior Division Laureate, perform at Carnegie Hall at the tender age of 13. He played the Stradivarius so passionately that I wept. Now, at age 16, he has excelled far beyond the cosmos. That is just one story of our phenomenal Alumni, and a heartfelt reason as to why I will always be a part of the Sphinx Family.”

To donate to the Sphinx community, individual and corporate donations are welcome. For more information email

Melissa Andreev