A 2005 MacArthur Fellow, Aaron P. Dworkin is the founder of The Sphinx Organization, the leading national arts organization with the mission of transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Mr. Dworkin was also President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts and Governor Snyder’s appointment to the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs. He served as dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, which is ranked among the top performing arts schools in the nation. He is currently a tenured full professor of arts leadership and entrepreneurship at the university.  He is also the producer and host of AaronAsk, a weekly online mentoring show on creativity and leadership. A multi-media performing artist, author, social entrepreneur, artist-citizen, and educator, he continually receives extensive national recognition for his leadership and service to communities. A lifelong musician, Aaron Dworkin is a visual and spoken-word performing artist represented by Jensen Artists and has collaborated with a breadth of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Damien Sneed, Anna Deveare Smith, Damian Woetzel, Lil Buck and others.  He recorded and produced two CDs, entitled Ebony Rhythm and Bar-Talk.

A sought-after global thought leader and a passionate advocate for excellence in arts education, entrepreneurship and leadership, as well as inclusion in the performing arts, Aaron is a frequent keynote speaker and has been featured in People Magazine, on NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News, CNN, NPR’s The Story and Performance Today. He has been the subject of articles in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Washington Post, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Emerge and Jet Magazines and was named one of Newsweek’s “15 People Who Make America Great.” In May of 2013, the renowned Curtis Institute of Music awarded Honorary Doctorates to Aaron and Sir Simon Rattle, longtime maestro of the Berlin Philharmonic.  He also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance from the University of Michigan. Learn more at aarondworkin.com.

Dynamic leader of the Minnesota Orchestra cello section since 1991, prize-winning cellist, Anthony Ross, has appeared as soloist many times with the Minnesota Orchestra, performing all the standard cello concertos under Osmo Vanska, Edo de Warart and Eiji Oue. Equally passionate about new music, he has given powerful performances of James MacMillan’s cello Concerto, Paul Moravec’s Montserrat, and he and his wife, Beth Rapier, have championed David Ott’s Concerto for Two Cellos since 1993. Prior to assuming the principal role in Minnesota, Tony performed for four years as principal cello of the Rochester Philharmonic under David Zinman. Anthony Ross’ compelling interpretations have won wide acclaim from Moscow to Kalamazoo, from Dallas to Duluth. As concerto soloist, he has played with the Moscow State Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the South Dakota Symphony, and many other Midwest regional orchestras.

Winner of the prestigious bronze medal at the 1982 Tschaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Ross has also won the Stulberg’s 1979 Gold Medal, the G.B. Dealy Award, and a prize in the Parisot International Cello Competition. Tony was awarded a McKnight Artist Fellowship, once as soloist, and again in 2005 as part of the Ross Rapier Cello Duo.  A graduate of Indiana University, where he studied with Fritz Magg, he earned another degree at the State University of New York, studying with Bernard Greenhouse and Timothy Eddy. A cellist of many facets and talents, Ross has taught at the Eastman School of Music and on the faculties of the Aspen and Grand Tetons Music Festivals, and at the Interlochen and Madeline Island Music Camps. His many festival appearances include performances at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Music in the Vineyards, the Colorado Music Festival, the Rhodes Music Festival in Greece, the Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio and the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Madison. In the Twin Cities, he is a member of Accordo and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota. Learn more at https://www.minnesotaorchestra.org/about/who-we-are/musicians-soloists-conductors/orchestra-musicians/320-cello/700-anthony-ross.

Scott St. John was a member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet and faculty member at Stanford University for seven years, from 2006 – 2013. From 1999 – 2006, Scott was Associate Professor of Violin at University of Toronto, and founded the Felix Galimir Chamber Music Award for U of T students. He is currently Concertmaster of the ROCO Chamber Orchestra in Houston, Texas. He coaches chamber music at Western University (Canada),  and participates in the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival (Vermont). Scott is a partner in the new Rebelheart Collective at London’s Aeolian Hall, an innovative chamber orchestra and youth mentorship program connected with the El Sistema movement.

August 2018 will bring the debut of a new summer chamber music festival at Western University in London Ontario, in partnership with Forest City Talent. As Artistic Director of “Western 360”, Scott will organize a week of intensity for string students, with a focus on Canadian music, multi-cultural experiences and wellness workshops. Concert highlights of the past year include a “Canada 150” recital of early Canadian music in Calgary with pianist Katherine Chi, a performance of Peteris Vasks “Distant Light” at Scotia Festival, and many chamber music performances with the Enso Quartet in California.

A recent recording of Mozart’s Symphonia Concertante with his sister Lara St. John won a Juno Award for best recording: solo with orchestra. Working with composers has been important throughout his career; Scott has worked with John Adams, Charles Wuorinen and Oswaldo Golijov in the US, and Arsenio Giron, Gary Kulesha, Elizabeth Raum and many others in Canada.

Scott began his violin studies at age three with Richard Lawrence, in London. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied violin with David Cerone, Arnold Steinhardt, and chamber music with Felix Galimir. Scott St. John lives in London, Canada with his wife Sharon Wei and daughter Julia. Learn more at scottstjohn.com