Barrett Wissman

Barrett Wissman & IMG Artists Announce Partnership with The Sphinx Organization

Festival Artistic Director Barrett Wissman announces Sphinx Symphony Orchestra residency at Napa Valley Festival del Sole: Partnership designed to further the pursuit of equality in the arts and access for all to the best in arts education

SphinxOrgNEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — IMG Artists, the global leader in the performing arts and lifestyle events management, today announced a new partnership with the internationally-lauded Sphinx Organization, a non-profit working to transform lives through the power of diversity in the arts.  The partnership will promote Sphinx’s mission and values via IMG Artists’ global network of events and projects, including a Sphinx Symphony Orchestra residency at this year’s Napa Valley Festival del Sole. The IMG-produced Festival, currently in its ninth year, will be held July 11 – 20, 2014 in California’s Napa Valley, and will feature three performances by the Sphinx Symphony and Sphinx Virtuosi.

Founded in 1996 by MacArthur Fellow and violinist Dr. Aaron Dworkin, a member of both the Obama National Arts Policy Committee and President Obama’s First Appointee to the National Council on the Arts, the Sphinx Organization transforms lives through the power of diversity in the arts.  Through its educational and artistic programming, Sphinx reaches over 20,000 young people and over 2 million in live and broadcast audiences. The organization’s critically-acclaimed Sphinx Symphony is the only all Black and Latino orchestra in the world comprised of top classical musicians including current members of the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Met Opera Orchestra and the Detroit, Philadelphia, Houston,Atlanta, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Puerto Rico symphonies, as well as Orchestra of the Age-of-Enlightenment.

Barrett Wissman, Festival Artistic Director and Co-Chairman of IMG Artists, said, “Education and equality in the arts has been shown to improve academic outcomes, promote higher career goals and deepen civic engagement.  Yet, funding for and access to the arts is, increasingly, the domain of an exclusive class.  This trend threatens to both inhibit the progress and development of some of our most talented youth and further diminish the already dwindling audience base for culture. Aaron Dworkin and the Sphinx Organization are guiding lights promoting equality, access, and education for those who wouldn’t otherwise have the same opportunities, and we are proud to leverage the IMG network to enhance Sphinx’s recognition.”

Dr. Dworkin added, “We are truly excited to be partnering with IMG Artists, not only in Napa this summer, but on a global basis for the future.  It is important to have partners such as IMG Artists who believe in our vision and can help to make the vision of the Sphinx Organization a practical reality.”

About IMG Artists

IMG Artists is the global leader of performing arts management.  For thirty years, the company has set the standard for excellence across the artist management, touring, events, festivals and cultural consulting fields.  IMGA’s 150 dedicated specialists in twelve offices across three continents offer unparalleled international reach and depth of experience to the company’s artists, clients and partners.  With the launch of the Sino-American Global Entertainment (S.A.G.E.) joint venture withChina Arts and Entertainment group and new venue management and technology initiatives designed to support and enhance the core business, IMGA remains the vanguard of the industry.

About the Napa Valley Festival del Sole

Napa Valley Festival del Sole is one of America’s premier music and lifestyle festivals that blends world-class music, theater and dance with the region’s fine wine and cuisine in a celebration of the art of life.  Since 2006, Festival del Sole has presented more than 175 artists and ensembles in venues throughout Napa Valley, partnered with more than 200 wineries, hotels and local businesses, and attracted nearly 10,000 audience members and visitors each season. The 10-day summer festival features performances by renowned artists and emerging talent, gala events at stunning wineries, resorts and estates, free community concerts, a wellness series promoting healthy living, and year-round arts education initiatives. The Napa Valley Festival del Sole is a non-profit public benefit organization operating under the auspices of Napa Valley Festival Association, and is produced by IMG Artists. For more information visit

About the Sphinx Virtuosi

The Sphinx Virtuosi is composed of top alumni from the Sphinx Competition for Black and Latino string players.  Allan Kozinn ofThe New York Times, described their performances as, “first rate in every way,” adding that the ensemble has, “produced a more beautiful, precise, and carefully shaped sound than some fully professional orchestras that came through Carnegie Hall in the course of the year.”  The Sphinx Virtuosi, led by Catalyst Quartet and represented exclusively in North America by California Artists Management, tours nationally each fall, celebrating the long line of classical repertoire with concerts of both new works by Black and Latino composers and core repertoire spanning the classical spectrum including Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Britten, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson and Piazzolla.  The Virtuosi also pioneer new works by emerging composers of color through its Composer-in-Residence program.

About California Artists Management

California Artists Management, founded by directors Donald E. Osborne and Susan Endrizzi Morris, is a music and entertainment management company, specializing in classical instrumentalists, vocalists and ensembles as well as attractions and new theater.   California Artists Management is the exclusive touring representative for the Sphinx Virtuosi.  For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Becky Farrell, IMG Artists t: +44 (0) 20 7957 5891 e:

Jonathan Morgan, t: +1 214 965 9955 e:
Jeana Foxman, t:  +1 214 965 9955 e: