19th Annual Sphinx Competition February 3 - February 7, 2016
About the Competition
Concert and Ticket Info
Support the Competition
$100 brings 10 students to
the Finals Concert
2016 Sphinx Competition Jury Members
2016 Sphinx Competition Guest Artist and Conductor
Brasil Guitar Duo
Brasil Guitar Duo, winner of the 2006 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and hailed by Classical Guitar magazine for its "maturity of musicianship and technical virtuosity," is equally at home on a classical or a world-music series. Its innovative programming features a seamless blend of traditional and Brazilian works, resulting in a global touring schedule and a growing catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings.
An eager advocate for both traditional and new concerti for two guitars and orchestra, the Duo premiered a Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra by Brazilian composer Paulo Bellinati in 2012 with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra under Giancarlo Guerrero. Recent engagements include concerts with the Dallas and Houston symphony orchestras, Ohio's Dayton Philharmonic and Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas.
Brasil Guitar Duo strives to expand the repertoire for two guitars, with Lora contributing works of his own and Luiz arranging both classical and Brazilian music. The Duo performs a broad repertoire of classical guitar duos (Bach, Sor, Scarlatti, Debussy, etc.) combined with the traditional music of its native land (choro, samba, maxixe, and baião).
The Duo's first CD, in 2007, was Bom Partido, a CAG Records release featuring all Brazilian repertoire. Two critically acclaimed Naxos CDs, released in 2008 and 2009, contain the complete works for two guitars by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Its latest CD, on the Avie label, is a collaboration with flutist Marina Piccinini that features all of J.S. Bach's sonatas for flute and harpsichord, as arranged by the Duo for flute and two guitars.
With a unique combination of intensity, enthusiasm and technical clarity, American conductor Andrew Grams has steadily built a reputation for being one of classical music’s most promising artists. Mr. Grams has led orchestras throughout the United States including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Symphony, and the Houston Symphony. He served as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra from 2004-2007 where he worked under the guidance of Franz Welser-Möst, and has since returned for several engagements.
A frequent traveler, Mr. Grams has worked extensively with orchestras abroad, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, BBC Symphony Orchestra London, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecillia, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Malmö Symphony Orchestra.
2014-2015 marks Mr. Grams’ second season as Music Director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. He returns to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, New Mexico Philharmonic, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony and makes debuts with the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Severn, Maryland, Mr. Grams began studying the violin when he was eight years old and began conducting at the age of 17 when he directed the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. In 1999 he received a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from The Juilliard School, and in 2003 he received a conducting degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller.
In 2002, Mr. Grams was appointed to the position of Assistant Conductor with the Reading Symphony Orchestra and returned to conduct that orchestra again in 2005. He was selected to spend the summer of 2003 studying with David Zinman, Murry Sidlin and Michael Stern at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and returned to that program again in 2004.
As an accomplished violinist, Mr. Grams was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra from 1998-2004, serving as acting associate principal second violin in 2002 and 2004. Additionally, he has performed with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony.