Berklee Launches First Master’s Programs

By 
Sophie Maricq
October 4, 2012
Students at the Valencia welcoming event

On September 17, Berklee College of Music president Roger H. Brown gave the welcome speech at the college’s new campus in Valencia, Spain, to launch Berklee’s first-ever graduate programs, offering degrees in contemporary performance; scoring for film, television, and video games; and global entertainment and music business. This event represented the successful culmination of an ambitious and challenging project and confirms the commitment the college made to launch a new international campus with its own curriculum.

The master’s programs in Valencia have attracted applicants worldwide. The new class includes 23 students from Europe, 22 from the U.S., and 14 from Central and South America, as well as students from Canada, Mexico, Asia, Africa, China, India, Russia, and the Virgin Islands. Over a third of the master’s students are female, with 36% in the contemporary performance program and 41% in the global entertainment and music business program.

“The selection process proved to be tough, as we received such a high number of applications from very talented musicians,” commented President Brown.

All of the master’s students have previously earned bachelor’s degrees and have a background in contemporary music performance or experience in popular music. The class includes music professors and prestigious music professionals who are attending the graduate program to continue to nurture their careers and enhance their education. A total of 10 master’s students are alumni of Berklee’s undergraduate program in Boston.

A number of scholarships were awarded to outstanding applicants. These include scholarships named for renowned composers and musicians Howard Shore, Alberto Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, and Michel Camilo; scholarships granted by companies such as Endesa and Conexus; a scholarship awarded to a Berklee alumnus; and another awarded to a student from one of the Berklee International Network (BIN) schools.

In addition to the master’s programs, Berklee in Valencia offers a global studies program for Berklee students from Boston to study in Valencia; summer programs and special programs offering access to renowned visiting artists; the Mediterranean Music Institute for the study of the evolution and proliferation of musical genres associated with the Mediterranean region; and an International Career Center to expand networking opportunities and assist graduates with their transition from student to music professional.

“Our aim in establishing the new Berklee campus in Valencia is to provide a hub for those wishing to pursue an international career in the music industry. Valencia was chosen for its close connections to the four main cultural areas of Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa,” explained Guillermo Cisneros, vice president for global initiatives, Berklee College of Music and executive cirector, Berklee in Valencia. “The rich cultural mix of the music and backgrounds of the students sets the stage for some interesting musical fusions, the pushing of new boundaries, and a rewarding year for all. We look forward to helping them launch their careers across the globe.”

Located in the iconic building of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, Spain, the magnificent 3,600-square-meter campus has been renovated specifically for music and is equipped with state-of-the art technology including classrooms, ensemble rooms, rehearsal space, tech labs, four post production studios, and a professional recording studio designed by the prestigious consultant company Walters-Storyk Design Group. The building also includes a live recording area of 80 square meters, high ceilings, walls and floor with variable surfaces for different acoustic configurations, and two isolated iso-overdub rooms, as well as a 46-square-meter control room.