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Vince Ford Joins Curtis Institute of Music in Leadership Role for Digital Strategy

Dr. Ford’s expertise will boost the school’s digital presence and burgeoning Performance Innovation Lab

Vince Ford stands in front of large screen and recording booth controlsPHILADELPHIA—December 7, 2020—The Curtis Institute of Music has appointed Vince Ford as senior vice president of digital strategy and innovation, executive director of the Performance Innovation Lab, and, in a faculty role, as the Field-McFadden Chair in Digital Studies. Effective February 1, 2021, Dr. Ford will oversee Curtis’s newly created Digital Strategy Office, encompassing digital media and marketing, as well as technology activities at the conservatory.

Dr. Ford brings over 20 years of experience and research in digital engagement with major performing arts organizations, including the New York Philharmonic where he most recently served as vice president of digital strategy and customer experience.

At Curtis he will lead the creation of a new Performance Innovation Lab, which will stand at the forefront of music education, performance, and technology, and will also engage in teaching, research, and product development. Dr. Ford will ensure that high-quality, strategic digital content is created and broadly distributed in support of Curtis’s vision leading up to its centenary in 2024. Dr. Ford’s new staff and faculty roles are a key element of Curtis’s administrative restructuring initiative, at the core of which is a focus on media and technology as educational imperatives.

“We are eager to welcome Vince to Curtis. His ideas for thriving in a digital sphere will help ensure that our students are well-equipped to succeed in our rapidly changing world,” says Roberto Díaz, president and CEO. “Vince’s appointment reaffirms our belief that world-class teaching, the experience of touring, and fluency in technology are essential pillars of a Curtis education.”

Dr. Ford joined the New York Philharmonic in 2007 and has held increasingly senior roles there. During his tenure, the New York Philharmonic has become a model for the field through its use of technology, social media, and self-produced content to build robust digital communities. Through an expansive portfolio led by Dr. Ford, the organization expanded its digital presence to reach millions of people per year, earning several GRAMMY nominations, a Webby, and numerous awards and grants in the process.

“Vince’s appointment is an inspired choice for Curtis,” says Deborah Borda, president and CEO of the New York Philharmonic. “In our work together, he led with creativity, optimism, and focus. He has a clear vision for using digital media to connect and deepen engagement between artists and audiences. I look forward to the results of his innovative new work in Philadelphia.”

 “I am honored to take on these exciting new roles at Curtis—especially at such a pivotal moment for the school, art form, and society,” says Dr. Ford. “Curtis is well-positioned to be a champion of digital innovation across the field. Not only are we training the musicians and leaders of tomorrow, but we also have the opportunity to ensure that our students develop critical digital skills and discover dynamic new ways to engage their communities now and in the future.”

Dr. Ford previously led the modernization and redevelopment of commerce and digital marketing functions for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has worked in various marketing and digital capacities during his career and is an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

Dr. Ford is regularly engaged to speak about digital media strategy and trends in the performing arts. He has consulted with arts organizations of all sizes to develop successful digital strategies, including the Detroit Symphony’s live streaming program DSO Live.

In 2019 Dr. Ford completed his doctorate in business at Temple University. He holds an M.B.A. from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Georgia. He studied horn with Dr. Jean Martin-Williams and Richard Deane and was a freelance performer in the Atlanta area for ten years.

“The future of music lies in embracing technology to collaborate, create, and deliver music in new forms to an ever-expanding global community,” says William R. Stensrud, chair of the Technology Committee of the Curtis board of trustees. “Vince brings to Curtis an unparalleled combination of drive, skills, and experience. I am thrilled that Vince is joining the Curtis team and that our extraordinary faculty, staff, and students will benefit from his guidance and leadership as they evolve to meet that future.”

The Field-McFadden Chair in Digital Studies was established in 2012 by Joseph and Marie Field and John McFadden and Lisa Kabnick.


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