Berklee and the Boston Conservatory Are Officially Merging

It's expected to be approved by summer 2016.

berklee boston conservatory merger

Photo by Alex Lau

After six months of discussion, Berklee College of Music and The Boston Conservatory have agreed to merge in a unanimous vote from both schools.

The approval process is anticipated to be completed by summer 2016, when the new arts education experience will combine music, movement, and technology. The merger comes with a name change; the schools will be known as Berklee and The Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

The Conservatory has been pioneering music, dance, and theater education for nearly 150 years,” said Boston Conservatory Board of Trustees chairman David Scott Sloan in a statement. “And as part of the new Berklee, we are creating a dynamic institution that will provide students with access to worldwide opportunities in performance and related fields that is without peer.”

As the schools combine, both schools plan to leverage their specialized strengths to design new courses and hybrid programs, as well as open up their existing courses to each other. Classes like sound design, music business, music therapy, and film scoring from Berklee, and selections from the Conservatory’s opera, dance, classical music courses will be available to all students in the new institution. Boston Conservatory faculty will also be given the chance to create courses for Berklee’s online course network.

In addition, eight Boston Conservatory trustees will join the Berklee Board of Trustees, and the schools’ fundraising campaigns will be pooled together to invest in new program development and improvement.

“Aligning with the Conservatory allows all of us to envision and then to create a combined institution that will give students a broad array of innovative tools,” said Jeff Shames, Berklee Board of Trustees chair in a release. “We intend to collectively invest in the new Berklee—regardless of discipline, program, or genre—and hope to create significant artistic breakthroughs.

The merger will allow for study abroad programs to converge, as well as student co curricular organizations. The formal merger agreement will be signed in a public celebration at the Berklee Performance Center on Wednesday, January 20.