Sphinx founder to become performing-arts dean at University of Michigan

Posted on: March 20, 2015

“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,” writes Michael Cooper in Thursday’s (3/19) New York Times. “Now Mr. Dworkin … 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.… The Sphinx Organization, based in Detroit … 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.… A survey by the League of American Orchestras found that only 2 percent of orchestra musicians were African-American and 2.5 percent were Latino during the 2011-12 season.… As low as those numbers are, they represent some progress: Two decades ago … only 1.6 percent of orchestra players were African-American and 1.5 percent were Latino.”

Posted March 20, 2015

Aaron Dworkin photo by Kevin Kennedy