Nathan Amaral receives $50,000 and solo concert engagements with major orchestras

Nathan Amaral - First Place Senior (Photo Credit - Brian Hatton)

Photo: Brian Hatton

Nathan Amaral performing in the Sphinx Competition senior division finals

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Brazilian violinist Nathan Amaral, 28, has won the senior division of the Sphinx Competition’s 27th edition. The final took place at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center in Detroit, Michigan on 27 January. Amaral receives the $50,000 Robert Frederick Smith Prize and solo performances with major orchestras. In his finals performance he played the first movement of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Violin Concerto in G minor alongside the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra.

The $20,000 second prize was awarded to US bassist Aaron Olguin, 29, who also won the audience prize, worth $5,000. US violinist Bethlehem Kelley, 22, won the $10,000 third prize. Olguin performed the third movement of Andrés Martín’s Concerto for Double Bass, while Kelley performed the first movement of the Coleridge-Taylor Violin Concerto. All finalists, as well as semi-finalists, will also receive scholarships and fine instruments through the Sphinx Music Assistance Fund. 

Sphinx Senior Winners with Afa, Andre and Rodney Cole (Photo Credit - Brian Hatton)

Photo: Brian Hatton

(l-r) Andre Dowell, Bethlehem Kelley, Aaron Olguin, Nathan Amaral, Afa Dworkin and Rodney Cole

Amaral, originally from Rio de Janeiro, currently studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston with Donald Weilerstein. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in venues such at Wigmore Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie and the Grosser Saal Mozarteum. Other competition successes include at the Weimar International Competition, the Paul Roczek Award at the Mozarteum Salzburg, and the Wiener Klassik Preis. He also recently released his debut album with Decca Classics.

The 2024 jury comprised Joseph ConyersRandall Goosby, Alasdair Tait, George Taylor, Elena UriosteSeth Parker Woods and John Zion. 

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