The Sphinx Organization, an organization dedicated to promoting diversity in music through educational outreach, programs and its competitions, has announced its 2019 Medal of Excellence recipients: double bassist Joseph H. Conyers, soprano Raquel Gonzalez, and baritone Will Liverman. The award recognizes Sphinx artists who have exhibited “artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and ongoing commitment to leadership.” Each recipient will receive a $50,000 career grant.
Conyers, who is currently the associate principal bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, is a 1998 inaugural semi-finalist and 2004 Sphinx Competition laureate. He also tours internationally with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and is the executive director of Project 440, and initiative that works with young musicians to provide them with career and life skills they might need to develop as future leaders.
“It is an honor and privilege to celebrate three outstanding artists of color in our nation’s capital,” Sphinx President Afa S. Dworkin said in a statement. “In the midst of a divisive climate, music truly unites us all. The incredible recipients of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence are sources of light and inspiration in the classical-music field and in our communities at large, and I cannot wait to see what each of them will accomplish.”