Sunday, November 6, 2011

Daily Bow: 'Breaking Boundaries with Aaron Dworkin'

[Aaron P. Dworkin]

String Visions
Ovation Press
“For every super-star performer we know, there are hundreds of non-performing musicians who are just as important to the health of the music scene as the latest prodigy is. One such man is Aaron Dworkin, the Detroit-based violinist who founded the now-famous Sphinx Organization. Dworkin, a man with a vision for the world and a vision for how classical music can fit into that world, has not only been named a MacArthur fellow (and thereby a recipient of the coveted 'MacArthur genius grant'), he was confirmed in August by the Senate as the newest member of the National Council on the Arts, an advisory body to the National Endowment for the Arts.

A recent interview published on the NEA’s website profiles Dworkin and discusses his many accomplishments. The resulting article is an inspiring one, and it challenges the traditional performing musician’s vision of what a career in music can be. Dworkin’s vision, as expressed through the Sphinx Organization’s website, is this:

'We envision a world in which classical music reflects cultural diversity and plays a role in the everyday lives of youth.'

“The Sphinx Organization, which is widely known now, aims to promote the advancement of Latino and African-American classical performers and is currently in the process of promoting its 15th annual competition. The organization is perhaps best known for its competition, but the goal of the Detroit-based not-for-profit is much larger in scope than that. Dworkin, speaking of vision and of his own experience as a musician, makes it clear that music is not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all business.” [Aaron P. Dworkin (b. 1970) is profiled at and has a personal website,]

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