A chamber music contest with a $100,000 prize

A chamber music contest with a $100,000 prize


norman lebrecht

October 14, 2015

Introducing the M-Prize, launching next spring at the School of Music, Theater and Dance at the University of Michigan. It’s the brainchild of the school’s new dean.

He’s Aaron Dworkin, 45, a former MacArthur Fellow and founder of the Sphinx Organization to promote string players from African-American and Latino backgrounds.

Aaron says: ‘Sphinx became a focal point on the lack of diversity in classical music. The M-Prize, by bringing leading young groups here and with a $100,000 grand prize, will bring attention to chamber music. Our goal is to drive the direction of chamber music in this country.’

Game changer?

aaron dworkin


  • Itsjtime says:

    I know of a FANTASTIC trio from Arkansas that I believe are transcendent… I wonder if they will meet the criterion for consideration of the prize?
    It is a quartet made up of an African American violist, a Dominican bassoonist, a Syrian beat-boxer and a member of the Hopee Tribe of Native Americans on mouth harp(harmonica).
    They really could use the money to continue their commission drive and keep on concertizing.

  • Brian says:

    Hmm. So he’s suggesting the plight of chamber musicians is on a par with underrepresented Black and Latino performers in classical music?

    • Liana says:

      I think he’s saying that he’s hoping the new competition will draw attention to chamber music, as the Sphinx competition has drawn attention to black and Latino classical musicians. He is not saying they suffer the same problems or the same degree of difficulties.