On March 21, 2018, Sphinx will honor three artists of color who demonstrate the following qualities: artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and ongoing commitment to leadership.

These outstanding artists are the recipients of the 7th annual Sphinx Medals of Excellence. The awards will be bestowed at the official Sphinx Medals of Excellence luncheon at the The Kennedy Center and honorees will be celebrated at a black-tie private dinner in Washington, D.C. The three Medalists will also each receive a $50,000 artist grant to advance their career development. 

Mezzo-soprano J'Nai Bridges has performed in operas with the San Francisco Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, Vancouver Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and more. She also regularly performs as a soloist, including performances with Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and with the L.A. Philharmonic and Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. In 2015, Bridges completed a three-year residency with the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is a recipient of a 2016 Richard Tucker Career Grant and first prize winner of the 2016 Francisco Viñas International Competition.
Alexander Laing, citizen artist and principal clarinet of the Phoenix Symphony, is a performing and teaching artist. He has completed fellowships with the Tanglewood Music Center, New World Symphony, Aspen Music Festival and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He serves on the board of directors for Arizona School for the Arts, on both the Artistic and Strategic Planning Committees for Gateways Music Festival, and co-chairs the Institutional Readiness task force for the League of American Orchestras' Diversity Forum. Laing recently started  The Leading Tone , a nonprofit after school music program that brings music instruction to kids while exploring music as a context for youth development.

Colombian-American cellist Christine Lamprea was the first place Laureate of the 2013 Sphinx Competition. She performs around the world as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. In addition to performing at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Costa Rica National Symphony, Lamprea is dedicated to teaching and outreach - she worked with Ecuadorian youth as part of a residency between The Juilliard School and "Sinfonia Por La Vida," a social inclusion program modeled after Venezuela's El Sistema program, and served as a Gluck Community Service Fellow at Juilliard, performing in hospitals and nursing homes in and around New York City. 

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Sphinx would like to thank William H. Carson, M.D. and Anthony and Adela Glover for their generous  underwriting support of the 2018 Sphinx Medals of Excellence.