portrait of Stephen Aron
  • Teacher of Classical Guitar

Education

  • BM, Hartt College of Music, 1979
  • MM, University of Arizona, 1981

Biography

Classical guitarist Stephen Aron has dedicated himself to a lifetime of encouraging young guitarists to find their own voices. Through careful attention to the nuances of both physical technique and musical expression, a gradual mastery is achieved. Each student is recognized as unique, both in their artistic directions and in their musical backgrounds and physical capacities. By helping them find and prepare for their unique musical paths, truly original artists emerge.

Aron, described by the New York Times as “cultivated and musical,” performs regularly throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. An active composer and arranger, his work is published by Tuscany Editions (“wonderful guitaristic arrangement,” American Music Teacher), Mel Bay Publications (“historic,” Guitart), and Clear Note Publications (“a book to be ignored at your peril,” Classical Guitar). Clear Note also recently published several of Aron’s original compositions (“imaginative, adventurous, effortlessly entertaining,” Classical Guitar).

He has released 13 publications, totaling nearly 600 pages of music.

Aron’s recordings have been described as “stunning” (Guitar Review), “superbly produced” (Soundboard),“ warmly recommended” (Fanfare) and “inspired” (Classical Guitar). Notably, most of the works on his nine CDs are either original arrangements, original compositions, or premiere recordings of the works of others. His recordings and publications of 30 Lieder ohne Worte by Felix Mendelssohn and the complete Chopin Mazurkas, both for solo guitar, were industry firsts.

Aron’s most recent releases, One Fell Swoop and A Musical Congeries are collections of new original music for solo guitar.

He is a dedicated chamber music advocate, and maintains a regular duo with his wife, soprano JoNell Aron, and another with flutist Jane Berkner. He plays frequently with mixed chamber ensembles both traditional and new music.

Aron has adjudicated numerous national and international competitions and has been a repeat guest, giving performances, lectures, and master classes at the Guitar Foundation of America Convention, Stetson Guitar Workshop, Portland Guitar Festival, Eastman Guitar Festival, Rantucci Guitar Festival, Alexandria Guitar Festival, the National Summer Guitar Workshop, the Eastern Carolina University Guitar Festival, the Sauble Beach Guitar Festival, and the Appalachian Guitar Festivals. He’s also been a frequent guest performer and lecturer at the Yale Guitar Extravaganza, the Ithaca College Winter Guitar Festival, the Eastern Tennessee Guitar Festival, the Montreal Guitar Festival, the New York Guitar Seminar, the Miami International Guitar Festival, the Mediterranean Guitar Festival, the Scotland Classical Guitar Retreat, the TAMU Guitar Symposium, and others.

Recently, Aron has been a guest at guitar festivals in Iserlohn, Germany, and Sorrento, Italy. He has appeared on recital series across Italy, as well as in France and Denmark.

Aron was professor of music at the University of Akron from 1981 until his retirement in 2015. He continues as teacher of classical guitar and founder of the Classical Guitar Program at Oberlin, where he joined the faculty in 1992.

His blog, stephenaron.net , is one of the most-read classical guitar resources on the web.

Solo concerts in the United States, Europe and Canada; New York debut in Merkin Hall, 1989.

Aron’s original compositions, arrangements and scholarly editions are published by Tuscany Editions, Mel Bay Publications, Clear Note Publications, and Pavonia Music.

  • Member, board of directors, Guitar Foundation of America, 1988-92 (chair, 1989-92), and again 2011-19
  • Faculty member, University of Akron, 1981 to 2015

View catalog of Aron’s original works

Aron has recorded chamber music, solo guitar, and vocal music CDs including:

Chamber music CD
Tropicale, Clear Note, 2012

Solo CDs
A Musical Congeries, Pavonia Music, 2019
One Fell Swoop/Original Works for Solo Guitar, Clear Note, 2011
Romantic Guitar, Clear Note, 2009
Brazilian Masterworks, Clear Note, 2007
My Favorite Chopin Mazurkas, Clear Note, 2005
The Complete Chopin Mazurkas, Mel Bay, 2001
Sketches, Digital Revolution, 1994

Voice/Guitar CDs,
In My Heart, Pavonia Music, 1998
Shine on Harvest Moon, Pavonia Music, 1996

Stephen Aron keeps a blog on his website dedicated to his teaching studio, his students, and their many activities. For this blog, he’s written nearly 60 articles on subjects related to guitar technique, practicing and performing, and numerous guitar career-related issues.

In addition, he’s put up posts about his current student’s recitals, special events such as guest artist appearances and competitions, and a lengthy series of alumni profiles. It is a must-read resource for prospective students.

Read Aron’s blog

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