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Fri, 09.11.1970

Aaron Dworkin, Classical Violinist, and Educator born

Aaron Dworkin

*Aaron Dworkin was born on this date in 1970. He is a Black violinist and music educator.

Aaron Paul Dworkin was born 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.  His biological mother is a white-American (Irish) and his biological father is Black, his adoptive family is Jewish.  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 that gave him an interest in playing.  In Manhattan, he took lessons from Vladimir Graffman. At age 10, his parents moved the family from Manhattan to Hershey, Pennsylvania because of jobs at the Hershey Medical Center. 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. 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 racism.

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. He moved to Michigan and worked until he obtained enough money to attend the University of Michigan. In 1997, he graduated from the University of Michigan School of Music, with a Bachelors and Masters in 1998 of Music in Violin Performance, graduating with high honors.

Inspired by the works of William Grant Still, he addressed the lack of the non-whites involved in classical music. In 1998, he created the Sphinx Organization to help reflect the diversity in the United States in orchestras. He also was a Member of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee. In 2015, Dworkin became the Dean of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

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