June 13–27, 2021

Contact Us
(313) 877-9100 x708

Application Information

Sphinx Organization logo


The Sphinx Performance Academy at Curtis


The Sphinx Performance Academy will take place entirely online in Summer 2021.

Curtis is proud to partner with the Sphinx Organization in a collaborative model. The Sphinx Performance Academy is a full-scholarship intensive chamber music and solo performance program, with a focus on cultural diversity, for string musicians ages 11–17. The curriculum includes private lessons, string quartet coachings, masterclasses, recitals, career enrichment sessions, and mentorship tailored to each student. SPA seeks to actively recruit and engage students from cultural backgrounds that are underrepresented in the field of classical music.

  • Eligible Instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello
  • Participants must be 11–17 years of age
  • Participants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents in the U.S.
  • Participants must be of Black or Latinx descent



2021 Faculty


Sample Daily Schedule for the Sphinx Performance Academy (subject to change)

All times listed in ET

8:30–9:15 a.m. Breakfast
9:15–10 a.m. Warm-up/practice
10 a.m.–12 p.m. Chamber music
12:15–1:15 p.m. Lunch
1:15–2:15 p.m. Free time/optional practice hour
2:15–4:15 p.m. Lessons/practice
4:30–5:30 p.m. Musical studies
5:30–6:30 p.m. Dinner
7–8:30 p.m. Faculty and student performances, curated social time, virtual master classes, or guest sessions





Hear more from other past participants!



How to Apply

Applications are processed online and admissions decisions are made by the Sphinx Organization. Applications to the Summer 2021 program closed on February 28, 2021.

All accepted applicants for the Sphinx Performance Academy receive a full scholarship to the program. No registration fee is required.

  1. Full Repertoire List – Solo repertoire and chamber music learned and performed.
  2. Personal Statement – Around 150-200 words expressing why you want to attend the Sphinx Performance Academy.
  3. High Resolution Headshot (Mininum 300 dpi)
  4. Scanned copy of birth certificate or document indicating US citizenship or legal residence
  5. No registration fee is required.

Three separate videos. Videos should not be edited, and the audio/video quality should be clear. iPhone videos are accepted as long as the audio and video are clear.

  1. 3-octave scale in any key
  2. Movement or piece of choice with or without piano accompaniment. The selection should be at least 2-3min in length.
  3. Additional contrasting movement or piece of choice with or without piano accompaniment. The selection should be at least 2-3min in length.

Please choose repertoire that is well-prepared and that shows your highest level of technique and musicality. We recommend that at least 1 of the 2 pieces of choice include a concerto movement; however, any piece, concert etude, or movement of a concerto or sonata will be accepted.

Each video file should contain only one piece. Please allow sufficient time to prepare and upload videos. Videos uploaded must be smaller than 4.5 gigabyte (4.5GB) in size.  The following file types are supported: MPEG, MPG, MP4, OGG, MOV, AVI, WMV, M4V, VOB, FLV.

Upon acceptance into the program, participants will be sent via email 1-2 excerpts from the standard quartet repertoire. Students will prepare these excerpts and a solo work for an audition on arrival day. Following the placement auditions, students will be assigned chamber music groups and repertoire.