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21C Media Group announces new Artists To Watch program

21C Media Group is pleased
to announce the launch of a new image- and awareness-building program, “21C
Artists To Watch”, for artists on the brink of major careers in classical music.
Beginning this month, 21C Media Group will distribute a monthly “21C Artists To
Watch” e-newsletter to its media contacts, as well as to a list of industry
professionals that includes many of the country’s most influential artistic
administrators.  Several artists
from the program will be profiled in each e-newsletter and their recent and
upcoming activities will be highlighted.

“We created the program
because there are so many great artists out there with whom we’d like to work
but who just aren’t at a point yet in their careers where full-scale public
relations representation is appropriate,” says the developer of the program,
21C Media Group’s Director of Marketing and Special Projects, Sean Michael
Gross.  “This program focuses on
building awareness over time, by regularly providing information about these
artists directly to tastemakers in the classical music industry and press.” 

21C Media Group has appointed
music industry veteran Wende Persons to lead 21C Artists To Watch as Program
Director.  Wende has been working
with 21C Media Group on independent projects since 2005 and officially joined
the company in April to oversee the program.  Her vast and varied experience in the classical music
business includes nine years at Universal Music, where she worked alongside
Albert Imperato, 21C’s Founding Partner and Managing Director.

“We will be helping these
artists get their message out to the most influential people,” says Wende
Persons.  “This program is not
about generating press coverage. 
Our goal is to raise awareness within the media and the industry on a
broad scale to help these artists achieve long-term success.”

Other elements of the Artists
To Watch program include working with presenters on the promotion strategy for
the artists’ key engagements, maintaining artists’ press materials, and
advising the artists on a variety of media- and image-related issues. “Although
there are an impressive number of potential candidates for this program, we are
being very selective in terms of which artists we sign up,” states Albert
Imperato.  “We are working only
with artists we truly believe in, and we are giving them our enthusiastic
support.”  Reflecting on 21C’s
motivation for the initiative, Sean Michael Gross remarks, “It’s incredibly
exciting to be involved in an artist’s career from a slightly more nascent
stage: to watch that person grow and to do what you can to help.  That’s a big part of why we created
this program.”

Please visit the 21C Media
Group web site for news on 21C Artists To Watch:


Meet the People Behind 21C Artists To Watch

Wende Persons, 21C
Artists To Watch Program Director

Wende Persons has more than 30 years of experience in marketing
and public relations for the performing arts, broadcast and recording
industries.  She is a specialist in
new media outreach for classical music, Adjunct Professor of Marketing for
the Performing Arts at NYU’s Steinhardt School, and publicist for the
leading online classical music retailer  Ms. Persons has done consulting work
for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s,
American Public Media’s Classical Music Initiative, National Public Radio,
and Public Radio International. 
Previously, she was web site manager for WXQR, the classical station of
the New York Times; Senior
Director of Marketing for Universal Classics Group; Director of Promotion and
Product Management for Deutsche Grammophon; Program Director and producer for
WQED-FM in Pittsburgh; and Director of Public Relations and Marketing for
Pittsburgh Opera.

Previously, Wende worked
at Wolf Trap, the Eastman School of Music, and as the Eastman Philharmonia’s
Orchestra Manager at the Heidelberg Castle Festival in Germany.  She is
the librettist of the opera Patience & Sarah by Paula Kimper, which premiered at Lincoln
Center Festival ’98.  She received her undergraduate degree in music
education from SUNY Fredonia and her graduate degree in English education from
the University of Rochester. 

Sean Michael Gross,Director of Marketing and Special Projects 

Since joining 21C in 2007
as Director of Marketing and Special Projects, Sean Michael Gross has worked on developing new areas of business for
the firm and new services for its clients.  Sean has spearheaded many of
21C’s new media initiatives, from overseeing the development of web sites and
digital marketing campaigns to producing the celebrated YouTube video Deborah
Voigt: The Return of the Little Black Dress

Sean’s work identifying
and fostering strategic partnerships has also opened up exciting opportunities
for 21C’s clients.  He fostered a relationship between pianist Yefim
Bronfman and the Food Bank For New York City, whose successful campaign “Fima
for Food Bank” has helped raised awareness for the charity.  As well as
his new ventures, Sean handles the publicity for several of classical music and
opera’s top artists.  He also continues to work on a wide range of
consulting projects, ranging from non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 companies.
Sean Michael Gross is a graduate of New York University, where he earned a
degree in Music Business magna cum laude. 
Before joining 21C Media Group, Sean was an associate in the vocal
division of IMG Artists, where he worked with some of the world’s most celebrated
classical singers, including Thomas Hampson, Audra McDonald and Anna Netrebko.

About 21C Media Group

Described by the New York Times as a “cutting edge
agency”, 21C Media Group is an independent public relations, marketing, and
consulting firm specializing in classical music and the performing arts.  The 21C team boasts a broad spectrum of
experience in the music industry, with specific expertise in publicity,
marketing, record production, artist management, publishing, career
development, and new media.  As
well as having access to the world’s leading musicians and ensembles, 21C has
strong relationships with leaders in the classical music industry and media,
including artistic administrators, programmers, and presenters; senior writers
and editors; and industry tastemakers and trendsetters.


21C Media Group provides public relations and marketing services
to a diverse client roster that includes many of today’s most renowned
instrumentalists, opera singers, conductors, composers, chamber music
ensembles, orchestras, record labels, media companies, performing arts
institutions, and music festivals. 
The company works to develop and ensure a consistent image for each
client and to raise the client’s visibility in the media, in the artistic
community, and in the world at large.

21C also offers consulting services for both artists and
organizations looking to enhance their image and visibility.  In addition, the company offers
consulting services to corporations, government, and other professional
organizations looking to enhance their support for and involvement in the
cultural and performing arts.  One
of 21C’s goals is to facilitate strategic partnerships between the corporate
world and the classical music community.

In addition to its core offerings, 21C
provides an array of special services, including web site design, special event
production, and multimedia content creation.


Music plays an essential but often overlooked
role in the health and vitality of individuals and communities large and small.
We believe passionately that music should play a greater role in people’s
lives. This is why 21C Media Group is dedicated to promoting classical music
and developing a larger audience for the performing arts around the world.

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