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Center for the Arts' opening week culminates with performance by conductorless ensemble Sphinx Virtuosi and Community Open House


Sphinx Virtuosi The Sphinx Virtuosi is composed of alumni from the Sphinx Competition for young black and Latino string players.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 23, 2013 – One of the nation’s most dynamic young classical ensembles, Sphinx Virtuosi, will perform at the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 3 p.m., capping off a week of opening events. The performance follows an afternoon of Community Open House activities.

Sphinx Virtuosi will present “A Dialogue Between Two Eras,” on the stage of the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre in the Street and Davis Performance Hall. A conductorless ensemble composed of alumni from the Sphinx Competition for young black and Latino string players, the Sphinx Virtuosi offers a diverse program of well-known repertoire and works by African-American and Latino composers. The concert will span two centuries and feature works from Johann Sebastian Bach, Anoton Vivaldi, Benjamin Britten, Philip Glass, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Astor PIazzolla, Paquito D'Rivera, and Jessie Montgomery.

Members of the Sphinx Virtuosi have completed and continue to pursue their studies at the nation’s top music schools. Several members hold professional orchestral positions and have appeared as soloists with major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland, Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Pittsburgh. Its principal players are composed of members of the Catalyst Quartet, which independently has garnered acclaim for its performances around the world.

The center is presenting the Catalyst Quartet in a matinee program for a capacity crowd of 1,000 elementary school students on Monday, Nov. 4. This exemplifies the center’s strong community engagement commitment.

At noon on Sunday, Nov. 3, the Center for the Arts will host a Community Open House prior to the Sphinx Virtuosi performance. The free event will include activities for all ages stationed throughout the facilities. Featured events include a flash mob of small a capella ensembles, performances by student organizations and dancers, and a community chorus led by Elise Witt, a singer, composer, recording artist, educator, and community activist from Atlanta, Ga.

Witt has made several trips to Blacksburg over the past few months to host a series of community-based singing workshops in preparation for the event. Members of the community will join Witt during the Community Open House, contributing their voices to the community chorus performance in the center’s lobby.

The Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology will open its studios to the public for the event, showcasing the creative research and projects being developed by the institute’s faculty and students. The institute’s studio heads will also be available to provide more details about specific projects.

The Sphinx Virtuosi performance and Community Open House will take place at the Center for the Arts at 190 Alumni Mall and are part of the center’s opening week activities. The opening week is sponsored by Virginia Living Magazine.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Event parking for visitors is $5. Event passes may be purchased in advance through the Center for the Arts box office or when entering the garage on event evenings. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekends.

Launched in 2005 as an arts initiative, Arts@Virginia Tech encompasses all efforts within departments and colleges and at the university level to expand creative practice and support interdisciplinary learning, engagement, and discovery through the arts. The cornerstone project of Arts@Virginia Tech is the Moss Arts Center, which houses the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech professional presenting program; the university-level Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology; and television and lab spaces for the Department of Communication.