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Sphinx Virtuosi

Tommy Mesa, cello

Sunday July 7, 2024 at 4:00pm

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Sunday July 7, 2024 at 4:00pm

Sphinx Virtuosi is a dynamic and inspiring self-conducted string orchestra that serves as the flagship performing entity of the Sphinx Organization, the leading social justice non-profit dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Comprising some of the nation’s top young Black and Latinx professional musicians, Sphinx Virtuosi serves as a cultural and diversity ambassador around the United States and abroad. Their Caramoor debut includes music by some of today’s most compelling Black and Latinx composers.

3:00pm / Pre-concert conversation with members of Sphinx Virtuosi


Quenton Xavier Blache: Habari Gani
Javier Favias: Abran Paso
Andrea Casarrubios: Herencia
Adolphus Hailstork: “Dona Nobis Pacem” and “Exultate” from Sonata da Chiesa
Jessie Montgomery: Divided
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson: Sinfonietta No. 2: Generations

Seating for this Concert / This concert is general admission seating, with premium reserved seating available.

Garden Listening / For those who prefer a more casual concert environment, Garden Listening tickets are $20, and are free for Members and children under 18 years old. Enjoy a picnic, admire a starry sky, or relax with the family. Please Note! This ticket option has no view of the stage or access to the theater. The concert will be broadcast onto Friends Field with audio only. We ask that you bring your own seating for Garden Listening. If you like this seating option, check out all of the summer concerts that have Garden Listening.

“Top-notch … more essential at this moment than event … a vibrant, assured performance …”
The New York Times

    Summer Season Shuttle / Take the FREE shuttle from Metro North’s Katonah train station to and from Caramoor! The shuttle runs before and after every summer afternoon and evening concert. There is no RSVP to get on the shuttle, it will be there when you arrive (in the parking lot side of the station). If it’s not there, it’s just making the loop and should be back within 5–10 minutes. The shuttle will start running 2.5 hours before the concert, and 30 minutes after the concert ends.

Rain or Shine / All events at Caramoor take place rain or shine. However, this performance is under our fully covered Venetian Theater tent.

Have an Afternoon Tea before the concert / Tea is served at 1:00pm in the Music Room of the Rosen House. The service includes a variety of tea sandwiches, scones with créme fraiche and preserves, delicious desserts, and a selection of fragrant teas. Purchase tickets here.

Explore the Rosen House from 2:00pm–3:30pm / Select rooms of the Rosen House are free to explore during our Open House hours. No RSVP is required; feel free to attend and discover more about Caramoor’s history and founders.

Learn More About Sphinx Virtuosi

The Sphinx Virtuosi is a dynamic and inspiring professional self-conducted chamber orchestra and serves as the flagship performing entity of the Sphinx Organization – the leading social justice non-profit dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Comprised of 18 accomplished Black and Latinx artists, a critical aim of the Sphinx Virtuosi is to evolve and transform the face of classical music through artistic excellence, pioneering programming, and impassioned community engagement. Its members serve as cultural and diversity ambassadors for audiences and communities around the United States and abroad. 

Since 2004, the Sphinx Virtuosi’s concerts have been presented by leading arts organizations, including annual return visits to Carnegie Hall. Frequently selling out venues, the ensemble has garnered effusive accolades from leading media outlets including The New York Times and The Washington Post. Their debut album, Songs for Our Times, was released on Deutsche Grammophon in July 2023 and represents the rich history of the Sphinx Organization and the vibrant future of classical music by centering the artistry of extraordinary composers and artistic visionaries of color. 

Heralded for its kaleidoscopically varied repertoire and bold thematic programming, Sphinx Virtuosi concerts give prominence to historically excluded Black and Latinx composers. In an effort to expand its repertoire and engage new audiences, the ensemble commissions new works annually. Members of the Sphinx Virtuosi have performed as soloists with major American orchestras and hold professional orchestral and academic positions. The Sphinx Virtuosi’s community engagement initiatives regularly extend beyond masterclasses and workshops to members leading DEI initiatives within arts organizations and connecting with other Sphinx programming to further the mission of achieving excellence through diversity. 

Sphinx Virtuosi Tours are made possible through the support of Robert F. Smith, JP Morgan Chase, and National Endowment for the Arts. 

To learn more about Sphinx Virtousi and the Sphinx organization, please visit their website.  

Learn More About Tommy Mesa

Cuban-American cellist Tommy Mesa has established himself as one of the most charismatic, innovative, and engaging performers of his generation. The recipient of the Sphinx Organization’s 2023 Medal of Excellence, its highest honor, Mesa has appeared as soloist at the Supreme Court of the United States on four occasions and with major orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Indianapolis, Madison, New Jersey, San Antonio, and Santa Barbara, among others. Mesa gave the world premiere and subsequent tour of Jessie Montgomery’s cello concerto in the 2022-23 season, with performances at major halls across the United States and Brazil including Miami’s New World Center and Carnegie Hall. His orchestral recording debut of the work was released in July 2023 on Deutsche Grammophon.
Orchestral highlights of the 2023-24 season include an extensive performance tour of Cuba and performance debuts with the Calgary and Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestras; the Ann Arbor, Bay Atlantic, Columbus, Greenwich, Gulf Coast, Knoxville, Quad City, Reading, Waterbury Symphony Orchestras; and Boston’s Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. Mesa returns to the Indianapolis Symphony as cocurator and featured performer for their chamber music series this season, premieres a new work by composer Andrea Casarrubios to kick off the new season at Bargemusic in New York, and will be featured in solo recitals with pianist Ilya Yakushev throughout the country including Jamestown (Rhode Island), Laguna Woods, and Sarasota. Past performance features include recitals at The Academy of Arts and Letters, Bay Chamber Concerts, University of Miami’s Signature Series, Columbia University, Flagler Museum, The Heifetz Institute, California Center for the Arts, Meadowmount School of Music, Strad for Lunch Series, International Beethoven Project, Perlman Music Program Alumni Recital, and major universities across the United States.
This season celebrates several new recording releases and subsequent tours, including albums with pianist Michelle Cann and with bandoneonist/composer JP Jofre. In the spring of 2023, Mesa was featured in an exclusive artist showcase on NYC’s classical station WQXR that included selections of his upcoming album of world-premiere recordings by Black and Latinx composers with Cann. He also has an album release scheduled with pianist Olga Kern in 2024 and with The Crossing Choir in 2025.

Caramoor is proud to be a grantee of ArtsWestchester with funding made possible by Westchester County government with the support of County Executive George Latimer.
All concerts made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.