Two venerated Boston music schools -- which happen to be next door neighbors -- join forces to merge the old with the new
For the past couple of centuries, the concept of a music conservatory has not changed drastically: Young virtuosos feverishly studying the nuances of Beethoven and chromatic techniques in the cramped practice rooms of Dickensian buildings. But the 800 students at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee -- the newly minted merger between two venerated institutions, the Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory -- found a very different curriculum when classes began Sept. 6.
"The time when a student could reproduce the music of Northern European composers of the last 200 years and get a job is over," says Conservatory president Richard Ortner. "The digital revolution has utterly changed how the arts are being created, distributed and consumed. We're still going to operate like the Boston Conservancy," he adds, "but on steroids."
For Ortner and the Conservatory, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in May 2017, the solution was literally next door at the 71-year-old Berklee School of Music, which has spawned such alumni as John Mayer, Esperanza Spalding, Charlie Puth, Hamilton musical director Alex Lacamoire and many jazz musicians.