Brown County violinist wins nationwide contest

maria sandersonSixteen-year-old violinist Maria Sanderson of Brown County recently won first place and $10,000 in the national Sphinx Competition, a nationwide contest for black and Latino young adult classical musicians.

This was her third year to make the semifinals of the junior division; last year, she placed third.

She will play the first movement of Dvorak’s “Violin Concerto in A Minor” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre in Bloomington as soloist for the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra.

She also won the BSO Concerto Competition, her mother, Anna Sanderson, reported.

She has served as concertmaster of the IU String Academy Chamber Orchestra for several years.

Maria’s calendar then includes a concert in Chicago and a three-week tour of Argentina in June with IUs Violin Virtuosi, a six-week summer program at the Heifitz International Institute in Virginia; and a six-week tour of the United States with the Sphinx Virtuosi, culminating in a performance at Carnegie Hall.

Sanderson is also scheduled to perform as soloist for the Fresno, California Youth Orchestra this December.

Maria is the daughter of Anna and Jerome Sanderson of Brown County, who also have a long musical tradition, as do Maria’s siblings, Michael, John and Molly.