Ana Papakhian, an orchestra executive who has helped pioneer a series of innovative community engagement and audience-building initiatives over the past decade, has been named vice president of marketing and communications at the Music Academy of the West. Her appointment will be effective June 2.
Papakhian currently serves as director of communications for the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, a position she has held since 2008. She previously served as director of communications for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, having begun her career in arts administration as personal assistant to famed mezzo-soprano and Academy Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne.
In her current role, Papakhian oversees external communications and media relations for the Cleveland Orchestra, accompanying the orchestra on national and international tours and promoting its residencies in Miami, New York and Vienna. She has been integrally involved in the development and implementation of several new programs while in Cleveland, including the Center for Future Audiences and neighborhood residencies. In Indianapolis, she launched Ovation, a quarterly periodical that won a Pinnacle Award for Best Magazine from the Public Relations Society of America’s Indianapolis chapter.
She was selected for her new post from among more than 90 applicants following a six-month international search.
“We are absolutely thrilled at the prospect of having a professional of Ana’s caliber join our senior management team. She is clearly an individual of great vision and energy,” said Music Academy President Scott Reed. “This is but the latest in a succession of outstanding executive hires at the Music Academy. We are very pleased that we continue to attract such wonderfully talented people.”
The Music Academy’s last senior management addition was Patrick Posey, who was named vice president of artistic planning and educational programs in May 2012. He had been serving as director of orchestral activities and planning at the Juilliard School.
“I am delighted to welcome Ana as the Academy’s new vice president of marketing and communications. Her extensive background in music (as a student and performer), communications, and all facets of marketing will help the Academy achieve its strategic objectives nationally and internationally,” Music Academy board chair Robert Toledo said.
A longtime resident of Bloomington, Ind., Papakhian graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and earned bachelor's and master's degrees in vocal performance at Indiana University. After singing professionally with the New Orleans Opera, she worked at the Piatigorsky Foundation in New York City before serving as Marilyn Horne’s personal assistant. A former board director for New York Celebrity Assistants, Papakhian previously served on the PR Committee for the NCAA’s basketball finals in Indianapolis, and currently serves on the Gay Games 2014 Community Arts Partner Steering Committee in Cleveland.
Her responsibilities at the Music Academy will include overseeing external communications and media relations, marketing and ticketing operations.
“I am privileged and honored to join the staff of the Music Academy to assist with its mission to develop the next generation of great classical musicians,” she said. “I look forward to welcoming and cultivating audiences that enjoy and engage with the music and the musicians, building the broadest network of music lovers within Santa Barbara’s vibrant cultural community and beyond.”
The Music Academy of the West’s 67th annual Summer School and Festival will begin June 16. Over the course of this year’s eight-week season the academy will present 200 events, including a new production of Georges Bizet’s immensely popular opera Carmen, as well as performances by pianists Jonathan Biss and Jeremy Denk, and soprano Deborah Voigt.
The coming festival will mark the first of a multiyear partnership with the New York Philharmonic that will bring Music Director Alan Gilbert and other Philharmonic musicians to the Music Academy for performances and teaching. Gilbert’s 2014 residency under the agreement will include conducting members of the Academy Festival Orchestra in Santa Barbara’s newly renovated Lobero Theatre in July.
Additional season highlights will include performances by the contemporary chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird, violinist Daniel Hope, cellist Joshua Roman, and the Takács Quartet, as well as conducting turns by Thomas Adès, Jay Friedman, James Gaffigan, Edward Gardner, Larry Rachleff, and Joshua Weilerstein. Featuring the Academy’s exceptionally talented Fellows, together with illustrious guest performers and faculty, the events will be presented at the Academy’s scenic Miraflores campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara.
— Tim Dougherty is the communications manager for the Music Academy of the West.