Interlochen alumni win at Sphinx Orchestral Partners Competition

Recognized as Most Outstanding Instrumentalists, the two alumni won a cash prize and potential performance opportunities.

Headshots of Bassoonist Thalia Navas (IAC17) and harpist Juan Manuel Riveros (IAC 15, IAA 15-17)

Bassoonist Thalia Navas (IAC 17) and harpist Juan Manuel Riveros (IAC 15, IAA 15-17)

Two Interlochen alumni were recognized as part of the Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions (SOPA) Excerpt Competition on Tuesday, May 24 at The New World Center in Miami, Florida. 

Bassoonist Thalia Navas (IAC 17) and harpist Juan Manuel Riveros (IAC 15, IAA 15-17) were recognized as a Most Outstanding Instrumentalist, earning the top prize in their instrument among a field of 135 competitors in 15 instrument categories. Navas recently graduated with her Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance from The Julliard School. Riveros is a harpist, teacher, and music theorist, who recently completed his Master of Music in Harp Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Yolanda Kondonassis (IAA 78-82). He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Theory at the University of Michigan.

Navas and Riveros earned a $250 award and the opportunity to compete against other instrument winners for recognition in the Woodwinds, and Strings and Harp categories, respectively. In addition to a prize pool of $15,000, winners receive paid performance opportunities with over 80 orchestra partners.

The Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions (SOPA) Excerpt Competition provides Black and Latinx orchestral musicians the unique opportunity to audition for a panel representing several orchestras seeking to identify musicians for an invitation to auditions, pre-advancement at auditions, and placement on substitute player lists. The distinguished judges for the 2022 competition included Interlochen alumni Jennifer Arnold (IAC/NMC 89-90, IAC 91, 93-97), former violinist with the Oregon Symphony and Director of Artistic Planning & Orchestral Operations at the Richmond Symphony; Demarre McGill (IAC/NMC 89-90, IAC 91), Principal Flute with the Seattle Symphony; and Gabriel Campos Zamora (IAC 05-07, IAA 06-08), Principal Clarinet with the Minnesota Orchestra.  

"It is extraordinarily fulfilling to see Interlochen alumni serve as adjudicators as well as be honored through this program," said Aaron Dworkin (IAA 86-88), Founder of Sphinx Organization. "It brings to light the shared priorities of two of the most treasured institutions in my life—Sphinx and Interlochen!"
Initiated and designed by Weston Sprott and Titus Underwood in partnership with Sphinx Organization, the ultimate goal of the competition is job placement for Black and Latinx musicians in American orchestras.