Author: Afa Dworkin

Afa Dworkin

Named one of Musical America’s Top 30 Influencers, one of the 20 Most Powerful Women in U.S. Music, Kennedy Center's Human Spirit Award Recipient and Detroit Crain’s 40 Under 40, Afa S. Dworkin is a musical thought leader and cross-sector strategist driving national programming that promotes diversity in classical music. She serves as President and Artistic Director of the Sphinx Organization, the nation’s leading organization transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. She serves as a trustee for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, El Sistema USA, Creative Many Michigan and CultureSource. Ms. Dworkin has also delivered ongoing thought leadership through an extensive roster of speaking engagements, including International Arts & Ideas Festival, Independent Sector, Grantmakers in the Arts, Chamber Music America, ICSOM, and beyond. 


New World Symphony


Some musicians may know of New World Symphony for its Orchestral Academy, which grants three-year orchestral appointments to recent graduates of music programs. But for me, New World is synonymous with the first few years of my career as an artist administrator, and they were one of the first orchestras to partner with Sphinx.


Daniel Bernard Roumain

Daniel Bernard Roumain 0

I think Daniel Bernard Roumain is one of the most important American composers living today. His music is ever-evolving – including everything from signature pieces for electric violin and synthesized sounds to his works for string orchestra and string quartet – which are largely lyrical and usually have historical or social justice tie-ins.


Kelly Hall-Tompkins

Kelly Hall-Tompkins 1

Kelly Hall-Tompkins is not just a tireless artist – she’s also someone who pushes the boundaries of what excellence means. Hall-Tompkins has both served as concertmaster for the Sphinx Symphony a number of times and acted as a juror for the Sphinx competition.



Treemonisha 0

Treemonisha” is a wild reimagination of an un-staged opera by Scott Joplin about a woman who becomes a post-Civil War leader among her community. It’s also wild in terms of musical expression and the fact that, though the original “Treemonisha” was written in 1911 and never saw a production, it’s still extremely relevant today.