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Lecturer Thomas Mesa Wins Sphinx Medal of Excellence

It’s the Sphinx Organization’s highest honor.

Congratulations to cellist Thomas Mesa, lecturer in music, for earning a 2023 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, the Sphinx Organization’s highest honor.

The Sphinx Medal of Excellence recognizes extraordinary Black and Latinx classical musicians and comes with a $50,000 career grant.

Mesa is Cuban-American and was the First Prize recipient of the Sphinx Competition inaugural Robert Frederick Smith Prize in 2016 and was a winner of the Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions.

He has appeared as a soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, The Cleveland Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Madison Symphony Orchestra, and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, among numerous others.

Within the upcoming 2022-2024 seasons, he will premiere and tour Jessie Montgomery’s Divided for solo cello and orchestra. He will also start a residency at Colburn Conservatory and curate and perform chamber music programs with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

The Sphinx Organization, which is dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, aims to recognize artists who early in their career demonstrate artistic excellence and display an outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and an ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities.