Dworkin looks back as Sphinx marks 15 years

Posted on: February 10, 2012

In Thursday’s (2/9) Detroit News, Lawrence B. Johnson writes, “Aaron Dworkin recalls the mantra he kept hearing 15 years ago as he spearheaded the first Sphinx Competition, his effort to boost the lagging fortunes of black and Latino classical string players. Dworkin, then a 27-year-old graduate music student at the University of Michigan, was told repeatedly there was no significant talent pool to warrant his endeavor: There was a paucity of black and Latin musicians in America’s symphony orchestras for the simple reason that they virtually didn’t exist. ‘Now I don’t hear that,’ says Dworkin, whose achievement in opening doors for minority strings players has brought him national prominence while it has opened eyes and created believers across the country. ‘It has taken some crazy persistence, but we’ve managed to rally support by showcasing the talent that’s out there. … The 2012 Sphinx Competition finals will be presented Sunday afternoon at Orchestra Hall with accompaniment by another enduring symbol of the event’s success—the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, made up of black and Latino musicians from orchestras and schools all over the United States. And back to conduct will be Michael Morgan, music director of the Oakland (Calif.) Symphony Orchestra, who presided over the Sphinx Symphony in its inaugural appearance in the competition’s third year.” Dworkin serves on the League of American Orchestras board. To read Dworkin’s “Coda” article in the current issue of Symphony magazine, click here.

Posted February 10, 2012