Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Department of Music of the Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts will present a concert of guitar music by Stephen Aron at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in Room 229 of Wallman Hall. Aron will be performing a number of his own compositions, as well as works by Chopin and Mendelssohn. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

Described by the New York Times as “cultivated and musical,” Stephen Aron has established himself at the center of the American classical guitar scene. His first solo CD, Sketches, featured the first recordings of works by Ned Rorem and David Bernstein. Of this recording, the Cleveland Plain Dealer said it features “interpretations that sing with vibrant rhythm, subtle color and a feeling of intimacy.” 

Another of Aron’s CDs, a three-disc set, featured the complete 51 Chopin Mazurkas on solo guitar (Mel Bay). This recording, in presenting an entire series of works by a major non-guitar composer, represented an audacious industry first.  

“He has produced what must certainly be regarded as the most important contribution to the repertoire (by arrangement) in recent years…breathtaking” (Guitar Review).  Aron’s latest recording,  the Lieder ohne Vorte of Mendelssohn and the complete Kinderszenen, Op. 15 of Schumann, was released this year by Clear Note. A book of 30 of the Mendelssohn works accompanied the CD release.

Stephen Aron has adjudicated and produced numerous national and international competitions. He has given lectures, performed and taught masterclasses at numerous music conventions and festivals around the country, and has performed and taught at Manhattan School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Yale University, University of Southern California, Tulane University, Magill University, MIT, Cal State Fullerton, Miami International University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Mannes College of Music. As the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the GFA from 1991-93, he hosted and directed the GFA International Festival in 1988 in Akron and was again the host and artistic director of the GFA International Convention in 2005, in Oberlin. Aron is a graduate of the Hartt College of Music and the University of Arizona.

In addition to his post as Professor of Music and Chairman of Guitar Studies at the University of Akron (since 1981), Stephen Aron has been Teacher of Classical Guitar and founder of the classical guitar studies program at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music since 1991.