Two young Cincinnati musicians are heading in February to the Sphinx Competition in Detroit. Cincinnatians will have the opportunity to hear these locally-trained students perform in a benefit recital January 19 at the Carmel Presbyterian Church.  

Founded in 1997 by Aaron Dworkin, The Sphinx Competition's primary goals are to encourage, develop and recognize classical music talent in the black and latino communities. Faculty includes acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, serving as artistic advisor for the competition. Sphinx provides the opportunity for young musicians to compete under the guidance of an internationally-renowned panel of judges, and to perform with established musicians.  

                 Myles     Matt

          (From L-R: Cincinnati musicians Myles Yeazell, 18, and Matthew Adams, 17)

Myles Yeazell, 18, and Matthew Adams, 17, are the first Cincinnati area musicians selected to perform in the Sphinx Competition since 2002. The annual competition in Detroit is open to all junior-high, -high-school-and college-aged black and latino string players in the United States.  

Yeazell and Adams perform with the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, where Adams is 1st violinist and Yeazell an active cellist. Both musicians have received the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's Norman E. Johns Multicultural Awareness Committee Chair Award. Yeazell is a member of the CSO's Nouveau Chamber Players, a student at Walnut Hills High School, and trains privately with Alan Rafferty and Sarah Kim, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra cellists. Adams is a former member of the Nouveau Chamber Players, attending homeschool and training privately with CSO Principal Second Violin Chair Gabe Pegis.
Yeazell's and Adams' achievements exemplify the way Cincinnati's thriving arts community can help earn national recognition for the region, a key tenet of ArtsWave's 10-year strategic plan, the Blueprint for Collective Action for the Arts.  

The benefit concert starts at 7 p.m., with a suggested donation of $10.