Described by the New York Times as "cultivated and musical," Stephen Aron has recently performed in Los Angeles, Montreal, Miami, Rochester, New Orleans, San Francisco, Quebec, Portland, New York and Tucson. His first solo CD, Sketches, 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." Mr. Aron's newest CD, a 3-disc set, features the complete 51 Chopin Mazurkas on solo guitar (Mel Bay). This recording, in presenting an entire series of major works by a major non-guitar composer, represents an audacious industry first.
An active participant in new music, Mr. 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." In addition, Mel Bay Publications released a collection of Mr. Aron's arrangements for solo guitar of the Complete Mazurkas of Chopin. A vigorous advocate of chamber music, he performs regularly with JoNell Aron, a soprano with whom he has recorded two CD's, 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. Of Shine On Harvest Moon (1998), Fanfare magazine said it was "warmly recommended," while The Rag Times said "exceptional and appealing; get this CD." Of In My Heart, Soundboard stated "there are many reasons to like this superbly produced CD...it is one of the best discs to cross my desk." "JoNell and Stephen Aron thrilled the capacity crowd with turn-of-the-century American music perfectly arranged," reported the Charleston, SC Post and Courier of a recent performance, and went on that "this duo was a picture of loveliness and elegance."
A prizewinner in the 1983 GFA Competition, Mr. Aron has adjudicated and produced numerous national and international competitions. He has given lectures, performed and taught masterclasses 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 Festivals, The Eastman Guitar Festivals, The Ithaca College Winter Guitar Festival, the Yale University Guitar Extravaganza, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and The National Summer Guitar Workshop. He has performed at such schools as 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. 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).
"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"
--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Check out the artist's website:
1. Cancion No. 1 (Ruiz-Pipo)
2. Danza No. 1 (Ruiz-Pipo)
3. Suite for Guitar, Mvmt. 1 (Rorem)
4. Suite for Guitar, Mvmt. 2 (Rorem)
5. Suite for Guitar, Mvmt. 3 (Rorem)
6. Suite for Guitar, Mvmt. 4 (Rorem)
7. Suite for Guitar, Mvmt. 5 (Rorem)
8. Suite for Guitar, Mvmt. 6 (Rorem)
9. Suite for Guitar, Mvmt. 7 (Rorem)
10. Introduction et Caprice (Regondi)
11. Silhouettes, Mvmt. 1 (D. Bernstein)
12. Silhouettes, Mvmt. 2 (D. Bernstein)
13. Silhouettes, Mvmt. 3 (D. Bernstein)
14. Un Sueno en la Floresta (A. Barrios)
15. Sketches for Friends: 33rd St. Ballad (Head)
16. Sketches for Friends: Lobster Tale (Head)
17. Sketches for Friends: November Song (Head)
18. Sketches for Friends: Brookland Boogie (Head)