Aaron P. Dworkin (b. 1970)
AfriClassical.com has proudly featured Aaron Paul Dworkin (b. 1970) as an outstanding Musician of African Descent from its earliest days. Dworkin was born on September 11, 1970 in Monticello, New York and moved to New York City two weeks later after being adopted by a White couple in New York City. His adoptive mother was a violinist, and her playing helped inspire Aaron's interest in the instrument. Aaron began playing the violin at age five. When he was 10, the family moved to Hershey, Pennsylvania, which had only one Black family. Racism made life difficult for him there. He graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and received his Bachelors of Music and Masters of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Michigan. Aaron founded the Sphinx Organization in 1996 while still a student at the University of Michigan. He led the Sphinx Organization until his appointment as Dean of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance in 2015.
Named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, a former member of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee, and President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts, Aaron P. Dworkin serves as dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, which is ranked among the top performing arts schools in the nation. He is also the founder of The Sphinx Organization, the leading national arts organization for transforming lives through the power of diversity and the arts. A multi-media performing artist, author, social entrepreneur, artist-citizen, and educator, he continually receives extensive national recognition for his leadership and service to communities. Dean Dworkin founded the Dworkin Foundation where he serves as chairman of the Board. His memoir titled Uncommon Rhythm: A Black, White, Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, Irish Catholic Adoptee's Journey to Leadership was released through Aquarius Press.
Dean Dworkin has been featured in People Magazine, on NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News, CNN, NPR’s The Story and Performance Today. He has been the subject of articles in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Washington Post, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Emerge and Jet Magazines, and many other media outlets, and was named one of Newsweek’s “15 People Who Make America Great.” He is the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Honorary Membership, Harvard University’s Vosgerchian Teaching Award, National Governors Association 2005 Distinguished Service to State Government Award, Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, Detroit News’s 2003 Michiganian of the Year Award, Crain’s 40 Under 40 and Who’s Who Awards, BET’s History Makers in the Making Award, AT&T Excellence in Education Award, and National Black MBA’s Entrepreneur of The Year.