Ford Fourqurean aims to connect communities through music. He is an award-winning clarinetist, electronic musician, and composer based in New York City. He serves as artistic director and clarinetist of Unheard-of//Ensemble presenting unique multimedia concert experiences around the United States.
Known as “a unique force” (The Clarinet Journal), he has toured across the United States with Unheard-of//Ensemble presenting guest artist performances and talks at Northwestern, Manhattan School of Music, Cornell, and Oberlin with a repertoire of over 100 works written for the ensemble. He is Founder and Executive Director of the Collaborative Composition Initiative workshop (CCI//Sessions) bringing together composers each summer from across the country. He has won grants from Chamber Music America, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Brooklyn Arts Council, the Barlow Endowment to commission Reiko Füting, Alice M. Ditson Fund, Puffin Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Johnstone Fund for New Music, and New Music USA.
Unheard-of served as the 2021-22 KEAR ensemble-in-residence at Bowling Green State University, presented tours of the midwest visiting the Johnstone Fund Series in Columbus, Ohio, Miami University, Ohio University, and West Virginia University. The group also toured the South with performances at Texas State University, University of Texas San Antonio, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, and Chattanooga State Community College. Last season, the ensemble presented virtual residencies at Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Central Florida, and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Ford has performed across New York from National Sawdust, Carnegie Hall, and Roulette to smaller venues and DIY spaces like Unheard-of’s performance on a floating platform in the Gowanus Canal. As a freelancer, Ford has worked with Contemporaneous, Little Orchestra Society, Fresh Squeezed Opera, Curiosity Cabinet in a guest residency at Queens College, and the Uptown Philharmonic in prior years. He performs regularly with ensemble mise-en. His group Spark Duo with trumpeter Kate Amrine has toured Puerto Rico in 2021 and New Mexico and Arizona visiting the Interference Series, University of New Mexico, Arizona State University, University of Northern Arizona, and University of Arizona in Spring 2020. He toured the Midwest in 2018 with Tenth Intervention visiting Denison University, Alia Musica Pittsburgh’s Contemporary Festival, and the Johnstone series in Columbus, Ohio. In fall 2019, he performed in Seoul, South Korea with ensemble mise-en as part of Arts Incubator’s Audio Trading Manual.
Ford also loves to share his experience working with electronics. He has presented lectures on adapting to remote recording and streaming at University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, Troy University, and Coastal Carolina University. His article on streaming live concerts and the “virtual tour” has been published on The Clarinet Journal Online where he serves as one of the contributors for album reviews. Ford has also presented his research on Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Quintet at Clarinet Fest, Madrid as finalist of the 2015 International Clarinet Association Research Competition. He has also earned recognition as one of six national winners of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi’s Marcus L. Urann Fellowship.
As a composer, Ford studied composition with Nirmali Fenn, Reiko Füting, Todd Reynolds, and Fred Cohen, and vocal composition with Susan Botti. He worked as studio manager and assistant in MSM’s Contemporary Performance Program coordinating electronics for contemporary recitals. His music has been performed at Oh My Ears! Festival in Phoenix, Arizona, Mise-en’s Bushwick Open Studios, the Concept Lab series, Cortona Sessions, and at ClarinetFest. He released an EP titled Iris with composer Erich Barganier as Shutterspeed Duo in February 2021.
Ford works as the Director of Concerts, Marketing, and Publicity at Stony Brook University. He graduated with a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Stony Brook where he was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship for his work exploring new ways of using electronics in clarinet performance and an IDEA Fellowship supporting new video interview projects highlighting creative research within the College of Arts and Sciences. He served as a Teaching Assistant and Assistant Director of the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players (CCP) and served as Interim Director of the CCP during the Fall 2019 semester. He holds a Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Program where he worked with David Krakauer and Alan R. Kay.