Merger Signed with Boston Conservatory

Boston Conservatory president Richard Ortner (left) and Berklee president Roger H. Brown sign the merger.
Dave Green

At a celebration on January 20 in the Berklee Performance Center, Berklee and the Boston Conservatory (TBC) signed a merger agreement. The combined institution will be called Berklee College of Music with the conservatory becoming the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. The strategic underpinning of the merger is the belief that music, movement, and digital technology are converging to give artists new means of creative expression in the theater, on the concert stage, and through established and emerging platforms.

“The opportunity for personal growth that this merger creates makes me excited and happy for our students,” Berklee’s chief of staff Melissa Howe told the audience. “The combined musical menu takes my breath away with its new possibilities. If you want to play Bach, Beethoven, the Beatles, Billie Holiday, Beyoncé, we’re on it. No style left behind.”

A TBC student string ensemble and two Berklee student ensembles performed at the event.

“This merger is all about the students,” said David Scott Sloan, chair of TBC’s board of trustees. “We want to create something that hasn’t been done before that will give them a platform for future success.”

Jeff Shames, chair of Berklee’s board of trustees, echoed the sentiments of other speakers in thanking the representatives of each institution who worked tirelessly on the merger. Addressing future students, TBC president Richard Ortner said, “If you are a performer, musician, actor, or dancer, if you are accomplished and hardworking with an eye toward the broadest possible range of contemporary career opportunities, this is the place to be.” “We’ve taken a bold step on behalf of our students,” president Roger Brown noted. “We owe it to them to create the best possible institution we possibly can. The work has just begun.”

The merger represents a leap forward in curricular offerings and programs for students of both institutions.
Kelly Davidson

Berklee students Sam Leslie (left) and Ethan Setiawan and their group OctoPladd as well as a jazz ensemble also performed.
Dave Green

A Boston Conservatory string ensemble played the energetic frst movement from Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite.
Dave Green