Thursday, March 19, 2015

New York Times: Sphinx Organization’s Aaron P. Dworkin Will Go to University of Michigan

Aaron Dworkin

March 19, 2015

By Michael Cooper

Since the violinist Aaron P. Dworkin founded the Sphinx Organization nearly two decades ago to encourage diversity in the stubbornly homogeneous field of classical music, he has held competitions and tours to showcase young black and Latino musicians, started educational programs and urged conservatories and orchestras to be more inclusive.
Now Mr. Dworkin — who along the way won a MacArthur fellowship and was appointed to the National Council on the Arts — is stepping down as president of the organization to assume a different kind of role: dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theater and Dance, which on Thursday announced that he would take up the position in July.
“Sphinx has, if you will, kind of been on the outside, almost by necessity, to be a catalyst — we are always the ones applying pressure and saying more needs to be done,” Mr. Dworkin, 44, said in a telephone interview. “But it’s easy for us to say to an orchestra that you need to have more diversity, you don’t have enough, and not necessarily be fully in the weeds of all of the facets they have to address. Now, of course, I’ll be in a role where I won’t have the luxury of speaking from the outside. I will have to really deliver, but in the totality of the role.”
Mr. Dworkin said that while diversity and inclusion would be major priorities of his as dean, he would look at his mandate more broadly and thinking about how a performing arts school should train and prepare artists for a rapidly shifting cultural landscape.
The Sphinx Organization, based in Detroit, will continue its work, and has appointed Afa S. Dworkin, its executive and artistic director, as its next president. Ms. Dworkin, a violinist, is married to Mr. Dworkin, who noted that their professional relationship — she was the first Sphinx employee — predated their personal one, and that she was the architect of many of its initiatives.

Fantastic, thanks so much Bill!  Aaron  [Aaron Dworkin}

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