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Promoting diversity in classical music field

Feb. 4, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Aaron P. Dworkin, a member of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee, will discuss the lack of diversity in the classical music field in America in a 1 p.m. presentation Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University. The talk is open to the public free of charge.

A 2005 MacArthur Fellow, Dworkin will address "Breaking the Sound Barrier: The Sphinx Organization and Classical Music." Dworkin is founder and president of the Sphinx Organization, the leading U.S. arts organization focused on youth development and diversity in classical music.

View a 90-second video about Sphinx

As part of his analysis, Dworkin will share statistics from orchestras, music schools and youth orchestras that provide the foundation for his work building greater representation of African and Latino Americans in the industry.

About Aaron Dworkin

An author, social entrepreneur and an avid youth education advocate, Dworkin has received extensive national recognition for his work. He has been featured in People Magazine, named one of Newsweek's 15 People Who Make America Great, and appeared on NBC's Today Show and Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 and NPR's The Story and Performance Today.

He is the recipient of the National Governors Association 2005 Distinguished Service to State Government Award, Detroit Symphony's 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003 Michiganian of the Year, BET's History Makers in the Making Award and the AT&T Excellence in Education Award, among numerous honors.

An accomplished electric and acoustic violinist, Dworkin studied under WMU's Renata Artman Knific while at Interlochen Arts Academy. He earned both a Bachelor's and Master's of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Michigan.

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Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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