Winners of Sphinx Competition named in Detroit

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this season, the Sphinx Organization held its annual competition and classical music concert in Detroit over the weekend at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

Violinist Njioma Chinyere Grevious walked away with the biggest honor, winning the 2023 senior division, a $50,000 award and the Robert Frederick Smith Prize. Grevious, a graduate of the Juilliard School, also won the $5,000 Audience Choice Prize.

Violinist Njioma Chinyere Grevious

Chicago-based violinist Alejandra Switala was given the $20,000 second-place prize and Dillion Scott, a violist from Philadelphia earned third and $10,000.

In the junior division, cellist Brandon Leonard collected first prize and $10,000, plus the opportunity for multiple solo appearances with major orchestras and an appearance on NPR’s “From the Top” radio show. Violinist Gabriel Salvador Riera came in second and will get $5,000 while cellist Vincent Garcia-Hettinger gets $3,000 for third prize.

The Sphinx Competition is a national competition for young Black and Latinx classical string players. Visit