Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Classical Guitarist Stephen Aron will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, in the Brooks Gallery of Wallman Hall at Fairmont State. The concert is free and open to the public. After the performance, Student Government is sponsoring a reception in the hallway outside of the gallery.

Described by the New York Times as "cultivated and musical," Stephen Aron has recently given concerts in Los Angeles, Montreal, Miami, Cleveland, New Orleans, San Francisco, Quebec, Portland, New York and Tucson. His first solo CD, "Sketches," released in 1994 on the Digital Revolution label, features the first recordings of works by Ned Rorem and David Bernstein. Of this recording, the Cleveland Plain Dealer stated that "Aron's playing is clean, crisp and understated... he gets into the spirit of the music and gives interpretations that sing with vibrant rhythm, subtle color and a feeling of intimacy."

Aron's newest CD, a three-disc set, features the first-ever recording of the complete 51 Chopin Mazurkas on solo guitar (Mel Bay). An active participant in new music, Aron has commissioned and premiered works by such composers as Stephen Funk Pearson, Jorge Morel, John Marcinizyn and Larry Wallach. Referring to a performance at a Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Festival featuring all new music, Soundboard magazine claimed it was "the most original of the festival...expert and entertaining."

An avid arranger, Aron's concerts often feature original versions of major works by Haydn, Schubert, Chopin and others. Arrangements of his published by Tuscany Editions include works by Rossini, Schumann and a large book of song arrangements called "On a Sunday Afternoon." Mel Bay Publications just released in 2001 a collection of Aron's arrangements for solo guitar of the complete Mazurkas of Chopin.

In addition to his solo efforts, Aron is a vigorous advocate of chamber music and has been heard in Garimba (with Ricardo Flores, percussion) and Aron and White (with flutist Linda White). His concerts with White feature all new music for the medium.

Presently, he performs regularly with JoNell Aron, a soprano with whom he has recorded two CDs, one of original arrangements of vaudeville songs called "Shine On Harvest Moon" (1996), and one of original arrangements of sacred songs entitled "In My Heart," both on the Pavonia Music label

A prizewinner in the 1983 GFA Competition, Aron has adjudicated numerous national and international competitions. He has given lectures, performed and taught master classes at five GFA Conventions, the Boston Conservatory Guitar Festivals, the Stetson International Guitar Festivals, the Portland Guitar Festivals, the Great Lakes Festivals, the Weathersfield Chamber Music Festival, the Rantucci Guitar Festivals, the Appalachian Guitar Festival, The Eastman Guitar Festival, The Ithaca College Winter Guitar Festival, the Yale University Guitar Extravaganza and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, The National Summer Guitar Workshop, as well as at such schools as Manhattan School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Yale University, University of Southern California, Tulane University, MaGill University, MIT and Cal State Fullerton, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Mannes College of Music. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the GFA from 1991-93, his writing is often seen in Soundboard magazine and American String Teacher.

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 is Teacher of Guitar and founder of the classical guitar studies program at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (since 1991).