Richard Kessel, a media executive and marketing professional who has launched and developed numerous publications, digital media platforms, apps, and other e-marketing products for the music and education markets, has been named Executive Director of Communications for the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester.
With more than 24 years of experience in magazine and digital media publishing, Kessel most recently served as publisher of the Enthusiast Group of Madavor Media, where he oversaw such leading niche publications as Jazz Times, International Figure Skating, Volleyball magazine, Bird Watching, and The Writer.
“Rick has a keen understanding of marketing and communications in the music and publishing industry, including electronic and social media. His rich background as a musician and publisher made Rick an ideal choice to further expand Eastman’s reputation nationally and internationally,” said Jamal Rossi, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music.
From 2004 to 2013, Kessel worked at Symphony Publishing. As group publisher for the company, he boosted the music education division including the development of JAZZed, the leading print and digital publication for the jazz education market. He also created “Yopus,” a social networking search site for students searching for music colleges.
As an associate publisher for Larkin Publications from 1997 to 2004, Kessel conceived and launched SBO School Band & Orchestra and CD Choral Director magazines and their web sites. In addition, he started The College Search and Career Guide for Music Students.
Kessel is a founding board member and treasurer of the Jazz Education Network, an international non-profit organization that supports the jazz arts community by promoting education and performance and developing new audiences. Since its founding in 2008, the organization has grown to include more than 1,500 members in 23 countries.
Kessel received a bachelor’s degree in music and audio technology from Indiana University and an MBA from Clark University in Massachusetts. His extensive background as a professional clarinetist and teacher has included performances with Luciano Pavarotti and Henry Mancini, chamber music performances, recordings for Norwegian Cruise Lines, and more. He also was the principal clarinetist for Symphony Pro Musica in central Massachusetts.
“I’m honored and excited to be part of the Eastman School of Music which has such a rich history of educating some of the finest musicians, educators, and researchers in the world,” said Kessel.
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