Young Tucson Cellist Wins National Competition

by Tucson Symphony

Powe is a Student of Long Time TSO Cellist Mary Beth Tyndall

(Tucson, AZ)─Levi Powe, a 17 year old cellist who has won the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artists Competition three times since he first entered at age 11, has won First Place in the 21st Annual Sphinx Competition Junior Division for musicians 17 and under.

Held every winter in Detroit, the competition is open to all Junior High, High School, and College age Black and Latino string players residing in the U.S. The Sphinx Competition offers young Black and Latino classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with established professional musicians in a competition setting. Its primary goals are to encourage, develop and recognize classical music talent in the Black and Latino communities. A previous winner, violinist Elena Urioste, was a featured soloist with the Tucson Symphony in October, 2013 and November, 2015. This year’s jury of seven professionals included violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who will perform with the TSO next month.

For the competition, Powe had to perform two contrasting movements of Bach Cello Suites, the first movement of Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 and Villa Lobos’ Song of the Black Swan, a concert favorite for cellist/pianist duos. Last month, Powe performed the Haydn Cello Concerto at a TSO Master Class with Julian Schwarz, who shared his competition experience and tips with him. First Place winners receive a $10,000 cash prize, solo appearances with major orchestras, performances with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and an appearance on the nationally-broadcast radio show From the Top.

Powe, who performs in a trio with his two sisters on violin, is a student of Tucson Symphony cellist Mary Beth Tyndall. Tyndall joined the Tucson Symphony in 1980. A native of Richmond, Indiana, she graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in cello performance and music education, and she received a master’s of music in cello performance from the University of Arizona.

 Contact: Terry Marshall, Public Relations Manager, 520.620.9158