Aaron Dworkin

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Aaron Dworkin
Born (1970-09-11) September 11, 1970 (age 47)
Monticello, New York
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Violinist, activist, administrator
Instruments Violin
Years active fl. ca. 1980s–present

Aaron Paul Dworkin (born September 11, 1970) is an American violinist and music educator.[1]

Early life[edit]

Dworkin was born on September 11, 1970, in Monticello, New York, to Vaughn and Audeen Moore, but they were forced to give their son up for adoption. When he was two weeks old, Barry and Susan Dworkin, who both were New York City College professors, with a specialization in neuroscience, adopted him. Barry and Susan had another son as well. Susan had been an amateur violinist before Aaron's adoption, and when he was about five, she began to play again. She would play Bach pieces and gave him an interest in playing.[2] In Manhattan, he took lessons from Vladimir Graffman.[3] His biological mother is of Irish descent and his biological father is African-American, while his adoptive family is Jewish.[4]

At age 10, his parents moved the family from Manhattan to Hershey, Pennsylvania, because his parents got jobs at the Hershey Medical Center.[5]

He attended the Peabody Institute and Philadelphia's New School of Music. By his teens, he was performing regularly with the Hershey Youth Orchestra and the Harrisburg Youth Symphony.[3] For his junior and senior year of high school, he attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, after his parents convinced him he needed to change. He had been unhappy about attending his other high school due to some prejudice based on his race.[6]

College career[edit]

Dworkin enrolled at Penn State where he was concertmaster for the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra. He was enrolled as a business major though, and he withdrew without earning a degree because of financial reasons.[7]

He then decided to move to Michigan. He worked until he obtained enough funds to attend the University of Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan School of Music, with a Bachelors (in 1997) and Masters (in 1998) of Music in Violin Performance, graduating with high honors.[7]


Inspired by the works of William Grant Still, he realized the lack of the minorities involved in classical music. He created the Sphinx Organization to help reflect the diversity in the United States in orchestras.[7] He is the Founder and former President of the Sphinx Organization.[8][9]

He was a Member of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee.[10]

He became dean of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance on July 20, 2015.[11] On April 5, 2017, he announced his resignation as dean at the conclusion of the 2016–17 academic year in order to focus on family issues.[12]



  • Ebony Rhythm Ethnovibe
  • Bar-Talk. Ethnovibe


  1. ^ http://chevalierdesaintgeorges.homestead.com/dworkin.html
  2. ^ "Aaron Dworkin 1970-". Biography Today. Omnigraphics, Inc. 16 (2): 38. 2007. ISSN 1058-2347. 
  3. ^ a b Biography Today, p. 40
  4. ^ http://www.hamptons.com/Out-And-About/For-The-Cause/18599/Diversity-Affluence-Awards-Brunch-At-B.-Smiths.html
  5. ^ Biography Today, p.39
  6. ^ Biography Today, p. 41
  7. ^ a b c Biography Today, p. 42
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-09-20. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  11. ^ Akhtar, Allana. "School of Music, Theatre & Dance appoints Sphinx founder as new dean". Michigan Daily. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "UM School of Music, Theatre & Dance - News". www.music.umich.edu. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  13. ^ http://www.macfound.org/site/c.lkLXJ8MQKrH/b.1076861/apps/nl/content2.asp?content_id={AEE208A4-102D-490E-B927-F072B9146991}&notoc=1
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 

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