Soprano Aundi Marie Moore was named by the Sphinx Organization as one of the 2023 recipients of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence. This annual award is the highest honor bestowed by the Sphinx Organization, in recognition of extraordinary classical Black and Latinx musicians. The award, which includes a $50,000 career grant, celebrates artists who demonstrate outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, artistic excellence, and an ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities. Moore was presented with this honor at the organization’s official ceremony on March 1, 2023 at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., alongside the other two recipients of that year’s award, cellist Thomas Mesa and composer Joel Thompson.
“We are overjoyed to celebrate these brilliant artists this year. As thousands of artists were forced off the stage by the pandemic, each of our recipients served as beautiful examples of leadership and service…Aundi offered a series of motivational videos to empower her community of fellow artists. The artistic pedigree of these honorees is second to none and their dedication to excellence is authentically synonymous with the ethos of this award,” said Afa S. Dworkin, President and Artistic Director of Sphinx.
As a result of this award, Moore is slated to make her Carnegie Hall debut on the Stern Auditorium/Perelman stage on October 20th, 2023, joining the Sphinx Virtuosi for the organization’s 25th Anniversary Gala Concert and reception. Cellist Abel Selaocoe will also be joining the program, led by the Sphinx Virtuosi. The program, entitled “Generations,” is inspired by the poetry of Langston Hughes and Julia Alvarez. The performers describe it as “a program showcasing the beauty and tradition of excellence inherent in classical music created and performed by Black and Latinx composers for many generations. Together, we seek to uplift spirits through sharing the sounds that inspire us and transcend the boundaries of time, history, and struggle.” The program includes Quenton Blache’s Habari Gani in its NY Premiere, Andrea Casarrubios’ Herencia also in its NY Premiere and Villa-Lobos’ “Aria (Cantilena)” from Bachianas brasileiras No. 5, among other instrumental pieces.
“The 2023 Sphinx Award of Excellence represents the hard work, perseverance, and vision associated with the dream that held tightly in the grasp of my hand to become the classical singer that I longed to be. As God smiled on me, this award helped to open the doors of opportunity to perform at grand and greater places. One opportunity has led to the grand door of the illustrious Carnegie Hall. Having the privilege to perform at Carnegie Hall means that I will achieve a goal that has been ingrained in my thoughts, in my dreams, and even in the butterflies in my stomach. I had placed it on my vision board along with the Metropolitan Opera House. I am excited to see my name in the Carnegie Hall bill with so many distinguish artists and fulfill this dream. I look forward to seeing my mom in the audience. She has always been my ‘she-ro’ and she invested so much in me. I am so proud that our hard work has come to fruition,” says Moore about this upcoming career highlight in NYC’s iconic concert hall.
Moore has quickly established herself as a unique talent following her Metropolitan Opera debut as Strawberry Woman in the 2020 production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Previous career highlights on the opera stage include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at L’Opéra de Monte Carlo for her international operatic debut, Nedda in Pagliacci at Sarasota Opera, Mimì in La Bohème at the Amalfi Coast Festival, Serena in Porgy and Bess at Atlanta Opera and at Virginia Opera, Young African American Soprano in Ricky Ian Gordon’s world premiere of Rappahannock County at Virginia Opera, Soprano 2 in the US premier of Michael Nyman’s Facing Goya at Spoleto Festival, and the role of Odessa Clay in the world premiere of D. J. Sparr’s Approaching Ali commissioned by Washington National Opera.
Concert highlights include her performance with the New World Symphony for Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 under the baton of Steven Jarvi, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra’s featured guest soloist for the Christmas Pops concert conducted by Marvin Hamlisch.
Moore is the recipient of various awards, including the 2015 American Prize in Voice, the 2016 Bronze Medal at the American Traditions Competition in Savannah, Georgia, First Place at both Florida Grand Opera Young Patronesses Voice Competition and Vocal Arts Discovery Series of Washington DC, and she was a finalist at Operalia. She is an alumna of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera, the Salzburg Music Festival Young Artist Program, the University of Michigan (M.M) and George Mason University (B.M).