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Thursday, August 10, 2023 (Ann Arbor, MI) — The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A2SO) is pleased to announce a partnership with poetjournalist Aaron P. Dworkin, with Dworkin composing and premiering a poem at the orchestra’s season-opening concert at Hill Auditorium on September 23, 2023. 

As a MacArthur Fellow and Professor of Arts Leadership & Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance and Ross School of Business, Dworkin is a member of the National Council on the Arts and founder of the Sphinx Organization, globally recognized in its mission to transform lives through the power of diversity in the arts. 

“I am deeply honored to be able to join the A2SO for this important celebration, given the deep history of partnership and collaboration we have had over decades of impacting audiences in our community”, said Dworkin.

The author of several critically acclaimed books, Dworkin serves as Poetjournalist-in-Residence at The Rodham Institute at George Washington University, the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, the Wright Museum of African American History, Ovation TV Network, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Shar Music, as well as poetjournalist for Ann Arbor’s Bicentennial celebration throughout 2024.

Since its formation in 1996, the Sphinx Organization has been dedicated to furthering the development of young Black and Latinx classical musicians. In 1997, the organization hosted the first-ever Sphinx Competition at Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium, with the finalists performing alongside the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. 25 years later, the two organizations maintain a close and fruitful partnership, showcased by the A2SO’s featured performance at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall in January 2024 in support of the annual Sphinx Connect conference. 

For A2SO Executive Director Sarah Calderini, the partnership with Dworkin demonstrates the spirit of co-commitment to a better, brighter, and more inclusive future for classical music: “Aaron’s artistry and vision provides an uncommon vantage point by which to illuminate the most pressing topics and opportunities facing our industry today. His insight as a cultural thought leader and presence as an orator will deliver a powerful and transformative message on the Hill Auditorium stage this September. With Aaron’s words and [Music Director] Earl Lee’s artistic direction, the A2SO’s Opening Night will be a remarkable evening to experience.”

Opening their 95th concert season on Saturday, September 23 at 8 PM, the A2SO will present a program of Tower, Korngold, and Dvořák’s audience-favorite Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”). As the 2022 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award winner, Music Director Earl Lee will lead the concert, with the acclaimed violinist Stefan Jackiw joining as soloist. Tickets range from $15-90 plus discounts, and can be reserved by visiting www.a2so.org or by calling (734) 994-4801.