Berklee and Boston Conservatory combine

Berklee and Boston Conservatory have merged to form one of the world’s top training centres for music, theatre and dance. It follows a successful six-month exploration stint that began back in June 2015. The combined institution will go under the name Berklee, with the conservatory now known as Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

‘This merger is a bold step into the future of performing arts education,’ said David Scott Sloan, Boston Conservatory Board of Trustees chairman. ‘We are creating a dynamic institution that will provide students with access to worldwide opportunities in performance and related fields that is without peer.’

The regulatory steps will be completed by summer 2016, after which eight Boston Conservatory trustees will join Berklee Board of Trustees, making a total of 43 members. Two fund raising projects will also merge together, with Soundbreaking: The Campaign for Berklee added to Boston Conservatory’s 150th Anniversary Campaign for a combined goal of USD121m (€111.7m).

The thinking behind the merger is that sharing teaching and development resources will be more efficient, allowing each to benefit from the other’s strengths. Conservatory pupils will have access to Berklee’s contemporary music and technology expertise, while Berklee students benefit from Boston Conservatory’s classical music, movement and theatre resources.

‘We intend to collectively invest in the new Berklee – regardless of discipline, programme, or genre – and hope to create significant artistic breakthroughs,’ said Jeff Shames, Berklee Board of Trustees chair. ‘We see tremendous opportunities for all of our students to benefit from our combined resources, in a powerful new model of 21st-century performing arts training.’

In addition, new summer courses and study abroad opportunities will be created at Berklee’s Valencia Campus in Spain. On the teaching side, Boston Conservatory faculty will be able to develop courses for Berklee Online, the world’s largest non-profit online music school.