Sphinx Founder Aaron Dworkin’s Personal Story

In sorting through my mail last evening, I came across the Sphinx spring newsletter, with a lovely photo of Sphinx founder Aaron Dworkin and his wife Afi Sadykhly Dworkin. I noticed with interest that Sphinx has honored Stanford Thompson, among others, with a Medal of Excellence. Stan was a graduate of the first class of Abreu Fellows from NEC, and is currently the Director of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s El Sistema-inspired program, Tune Up Philly. I also read a short description of the inaugural SphinxCon, a conference on diversity in the performing arts, held in February in Detroit.

Reading all their news reminded me of an article we published in 2009 – a shortened version of a speech that Aaron gave at the Chautauqua Foundation where he described his own upbringing and the path that brought him to found Sphinx 16 years ago.  This quote from his speech sums it up and hopefully will intrigue you enough to read the entire article:

People sometimes ask me why I care so much about diversity and why I have dedicated my life to pursuits that further that end. I have the easiest response to that question: ‘I am a black, white, Jewish, Irish Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness who plays the violin. I am the definition of diversity. I don’t have a choice but to do what I do.’

Please take a look at Aaron’s incredible story, and join me in congratulating him and Afi on the wonderful success Sphinx is experiencing.

About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians: shortbeachwebdesign.com.

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here. web.esm.rochester.edu/poly/author/ann-drinan

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