Founder and President, Sphinx Organization
Artistic Director, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Artistic Director, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Entering its seventh year, the Aspen Ideas Festival will gather some of the most interesting thinkers and leaders from around the US and abroad to discuss their work, the issues that inspire them, and their ideas. Presented by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, the Festival is unique in its dedication to dialogue and exchange, and in its commitment to bringing ideas to the public at large. FORA.tv is pleased to present Festival programs taking place at the Aspen Institute's Paepcke Auditorium.
Aaron Dworkin is founder and president of the Sphinx Organization, a national organization devoted to youth development and diversity in classical music. He is a member of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee and was the president's first nominee to the National Council on the Arts. An author, social entrepreneur, education advocate, and an accomplished electric and acoustic violinist, Dworkin has received extensive awards for his work including the Detroit Symphony's Lifetime Achievement Award, National Governors Association Distinguished Service to State Government Award, and Crain's 40 Under 40 Award, among many others. He currently serves on the board of directors of Michigan's University Musical Society, the National Guild for Community Schools of the Arts, the National Society for the Gifted and Talented, and he sits on several strategic planning committees including the League of American Symphony Orchestras. He was a 2005 MacArthur fellow.
David Finckel is artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A cellist, Finckel enjoys a multifaceted career as concert performer, recording artist, educator, arts administrator, and cultural entrepreneur, which places him in the ranks of today's most influential classical musicians. His concert appearances as orchestral soloist, duo recitalist with pianist Wu Han, and cellist of the Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet take him to the world's most prestigious concert series and festivals. Finckel's wide-ranging musical activities also include the launch of ArtistLed, classical music’s first musician-directed, Internet-based recording company. Finckel and Wu Han are also the founders and artistic directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Wu Han is artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A pianist, Han ranks among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. She appears regularly in many prestigious venues across the United States, Europe, and the Far East as both soloist and chamber musician, and has toured extensively as duo pianist with cellist David Finckel. Han's wide-ranging musical activities include the founding of ArtistLed, classical music's first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company. Han and Finckel are also founders artistic directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival in Silicon Valley that has garnered international acclaim since its inception in 2003. Prior to launching Music@Menlo, Wu Han and Finckel served for three seasons as artistic directors of SummerFest La Jolla.
Damian Woetzel was a Principal Dancer at New York City Ballet and frequently performed internationally as a guest star and visiting artist with numerous companies including the Kirov Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, until his retirement from the stage in 2008. Woetzel currently serves as the Director of Arts Programs for the Aspen Institute, the Artistic Director of the Vail International Dance Festival, and as the Founding Director of the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works Program. Woetzel is also active as a director and producer outside these roles. Among his recent projects, Woetzel produced and directed an arts salute to Stephen Hawking at Lincoln Center for the World Science Festival, directed the first performance of the White House Dance Series, which took place in the East Room of the White House and was hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, and co-produced the tribute to legendary ballerina Natalia Makarova as part of the 35th annual Kennedy Center Honors in December 2012. Woetzel also works with Yo-Yo Ma on his Silk Road Connect program in the New York City Public Schools, and has twice directed culminating year-end performances; at the Museum of Natural History in 2010, and for the Central Park SummerStage series in 2011. Woetzel was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities by President Obama in 2009. In July 2012, Woetzel was honored with the inaugural Gene Kelly Legacy Award - an award jointly created by the Dizzy Feet Foundation and the Estate of Gene Kelly in honor of the 100th anniversary of Kelly's birth - for his contributions to the arts as a ballet star and director of dance and music performances.
Sphinx Organization founder Aaron Dworkin discusses the challenges involved in training students to achieve a professional level of musical skill. "If you have a 60 percent free throw average in the NBA, you're an all-star," says Dworkin. "If you play 95 percent of the notes right in a Beethoven violin concerto, people are going to want their money back."
Art concerned with combining vocal or instrumental sounds for beauty of form or emotional expression, usually according to cultural standards of rhythm, melody, and, in most Western music, harmony. Music most often implies sounds with distinct pitches that are arranged into melodies and organized into patterns of rhythm and metre. The melody will usually be in a certain key or mode, and in Western music it will often suggest harmony that may be made explicit as accompanying chords or counterpoint. Music is an art that, in one guise or another, permeates every human society. It is used for such varied social purposes as ritual, worship, coordination of movement, communication, and entertainment.