Named one of Musical America’s 30 Professionals of the Year in 2017, Sean Michael Gross has spearheaded 21C Media Group’s transformation into a fully integrated digital and public relations agency by pioneering strategies at the cross section of “owned” and “earned” media. Since 2012 he has served alongside 21C’s co-founders as one of its four principal directors, leading initiatives that keep the company and its clients competitive in today’s ever-changing media environment.

From working as a jazz musician to stints in artistic management and at a record label, Sean’s wide-ranging business and artistic background informs his work developing strategies for some of the world’s top performing artists and cultural institutions. Shortly after joining 21C in 2007, he was tasked with diversifying its service offering beyond publicity, and founded what has become the company’s Digital & Creative Media division. 21C’s digital initiatives are now accomplished by a team that, under his leadership, offers a broad array of expertise in content development, design, and analytics, engaging millions of people around the world each year and helping fulfill 21C’s mission to grow the global audience for the arts. Sean regularly speaks about his experiences and has shared his insights in guest lectures at organizations including the Metropolitan Opera, MIDEM, the League of American Orchestras, the Colburn Conservatory of Music, Wolf Trap Opera, and KulturKraft Stockholm.

A Southern California native who came to New York by way of Tennessee, Sean graduated magna cum laude from New York University with a degree in Music Business from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He credits his music education, especially his experience as a jazz saxophonist, with helping to make him a creative problem solver and entrepreneurial thinker.

Photography © Jiyang Chen