MEET IFETAYO Ali-Landing, a 14-year-old cellist, who recently won first place in the junior division at the prestigious Annual Sphinx Competition with her performance of Lalo’s Concerto in D Minor.
“Last year I came in second place, which was great, but what I really wanted was first place, and this year I got it,” Ifetayo told the Chicago Defender.
The national Sphinx Competition provides young Black and Latino classical string instrument musicians the opportunity to compete under the guidance of an internationally-renowned panel of judges and perform with established professional musicians.
Her win includes a cash prize of $10,000, performances with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, participation with the Sphinx Soloist Program Partners, solo appearances with major orchestras, and a radio interview on “From the Top,” a nationally-broadcast music program.
Ifetayo, who is home schooled, started her musical journey aged 3. She could differentiate between the mellow sounds of the cello to the more timbre pitches of the cello.
She a member of the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, a 16-year-old musical training organisation run by her mother and instructor, Lucinda, a violin teacher.
“Ifetayo is just one child from the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute who has been a part of this national competition. We’ve sent three students there from this little itty, bitty school. What other school can boast that they have had three Sphinx winners in the country? Well this little Southside program on the second floor of a church can,” Lucinda said.