Strings among the vines

  • Castello di Amorosa near Calistoga is an annual venue for Festival del Sole. The 2014 festival kicks off its ninth season pairing Castello di Amorosa and the rock star of the classical music world, Joshua Bell. VI BOTTARO photo HO

When the Napa Valley Festival del Sole opens for its ninth season on July 11, the celebration of classical music will showcase a new resident orchestra.

The Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, based in Detroit, will lend its musical support to seven of the 17 concerts held throughout the Napa Valley during the 10-day festival.

The unique 60-member orchestra, the only all black and Latino professional orchestra in the world, is composed of top musicians from Atlanta, Puerto Rico and elsewhere around the country who come together once or twice a year.

"The membership of black and Latino musicians is combined at 4 percent in orchestras throughout the country," said Afa Sadykhly Dworkin, artistic director of the Sphinx Symphony. "We pull the members from different orchestras, faculty members of music schools and high-level freelancers."

The symphony will perform alongside superstar violinist Joshua Bell on opening night at the Castello di Amorosa winery in Calistoga, as well as with renowned violinist Pinchas Zukerman on July 12 at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville.

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