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Internet2 Remembers Christianne Orto

Feb 25, 2020, by Ann Doyle
Tags: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts

The Internet2 community lost a cherished colleague this past week. Christianne Orto, Dean of Distance Learning and Recording Arts, Manhattan School of Music, died February 22, 2020.

She was brilliant, a gifted pianist, and one of the early innovators and founding contributors to the advanced networked performing arts community, extending music education across the nation and the world. She worked closely with and enabled early adopter Maestro Pinchas Zukerman to teach his students at a distance — both Maestro Zukerman and Ms. Orto became some of the best spokespersons ever for Internet2 and our capabilities, so much of which she helped invent.   
In her role as Dean of Distance Learning, Christianne formed Manhattan School of Music’s Global Conservatory of Higher Education with partners in the U.S., including Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, Cellist David Geber with the Cleveland Institute of Music, Professor Dr. Brian Shepard in his tenure at University of Oklahoma and University of Southern California, and Dean Paul Bauer at Northern Illinois University.

Global partners included the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing;  Shanghai Conservatory; Sydney Conservatium; Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen; Sibelius Academy, Helsinki; Royal College of Music, London, among many other prominent institutions.

She also created a wonderful academic/industry partnership with Polycom Inc. Christianne and her team took a deep dive with Polycom’s engineering team to create Live Music Mode - a feature soon incorporated into Polycom’s suite of codecs, offering enhanced sound quality for music transmission and distance learning.    
On a personal note, there was nobody better to wind up in the backstage trenches with than Christianne Orto. When the stakes were high, she was brilliant, remarkably organized, the consummate professional holding all to the highest production standards, with a hilariously funny sense of humor – a wonderful combination! It is one of the greatest privileges of my life to have worked with and known Christianne. She will be dearly missed by colleagues and friends all across the world, myself included.    
She died too young, and yet accomplished so much. May she rest in peace.