This comes to us by way of The Violin Channel:

Xavier Foley, Nicholas Mariscal, Clayton Penrose-Whitmore

Xavier Foley, Nicholas Mariscal, Clayton Penrose-Whitmore

19 year old, American double bassist Xavier Foley has been awarded the US $50,000 1st Prize at the Sphinx Competition, in Detroit USA.

The Sphinx Competition, held annually, is open to American Black and Latino Junior High, High School and College students – and is aimed at the encouragement, development and recognition of classical music talent in the Black and Latin communities .

2nd Prize was awarded to violinist Clayton Penrose-Whitmore – and 3rd prize to cellist Nicholas Mariscal.

Gary Karr was thrilled to hear about Xavier’s success:  “This is so amazing! I entered two contests when I was young and in both I would have been awarded the first prize were it not for the fact that the judges couldn’t bring themselves to give it to a bassist. So, in both cases there was no first prize but I had to share the second prize with another competitor. The fact that this young boy beat out a violinist and a cellist is sooooo great! We’ve come a long way in the past 50 years!”

We couldn’t have said it any better.

If you’re wondering why Xavier looks familiar, it is because he has been kicking it with the ISB for a long time.  He won First Place in our 14 and Under Competition in 2009 AND First Place in our 15-18 Competition in 2011.  Is he looking at the solo competition in 2015?  I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

Congratulations Xavier!

If you’re curious, and we know you are…


Xavier Dubois Foley (Born August 9, 1994) is a classically trained double bassist who currently studies at the Curtis Institute of Music. He was taught by Douglas Sommer before his acceptance to the Curtis Institute (2011), where he is now being taught by Hal Robinson and Edgar Meyer.

Xavier was part of a music program that provided free lessons, and tickets to observe the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Concerts. This program is known as the “Talent Development Program”, which is also part of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Xavier plays his music for a variety of audiences, including retirement homes, churches, and formal concerts. He has been given the privilege to play with the Sphinx virtuoso tour (2010) at the prestigious Carnegie Hall.  Moreover, Xavier has played solo works by Giovanni Bottesini, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ditter Von Dittersdorf, Serge Koussevitzky, Johann Baptist Vanhal, and sonata works by Czar Franck and Saint Sean. Xavier has performed the Bottesini Concerto No. 1 with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, and with the Eastern Music festival Orchestra. He also performed the Dittersdorf concerto No. 2 with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra.

Xavier placed 1st in both the International society bassist competition junior division (2009), and the senior division (2011). He also received the Sphinx Achievement award (2010), and was the Junior Division second place Laureate winner at the Sphinx Competition (2011). He made an appearance on National Public Radio while playing on the From the Top program hosted by Christopher O’Riley.

Furthermore, Xavier continues to work towards his pinnacle goal of becoming an artist who performs music composed by him himself, due to the lack of solo repertoire presented to the Double bass realm at this time.