Boston’s Berklee College of Music, the first college in the United States to teach jazz, has launched its first-ever graduate programs at its new campus in Valencia, Spain.
At the new international campus of Berklee, college president Roger H. Brown gave the welcoming speech on September 17 and announced the school’s new curriculum, offering graduate degrees in Contemporary Performance; Scoring for Film, Television and Video Games; and Global Entertainment and Music Business.
The master’s programs at Berklee in Valencia have attracted applicants worldwide, including 23 students from Europe, 22 from the U.S., 14 from Central and South America, and students from Canada, Mexico, Asia, Africa, China, India, Russia and the Virgin Islands. Over one third of the master’s students are female, with 36 percent in the Contemporary Performance program and 41 percent in the Global Entertainment and Music Business program.
The diversity follows that of the Boston Berklee college, which has a student body representing more than 80 countries. In the 1960’s it incorporated rock n’ roll, created the world’s first degree programs in film scoring, music synthesis, and songwriting, and in recent years, added world music, hip-hop, electronica, and video game music to its curriculum. In Boston, the school has a wonderful reputation of getting its students out there working in their fields part-time even before they are graduated (in the name of full disclosure, this writer’s daughter, Juliana Hatfield, is a proud Berklee graduate who has been working successfully in her chosen field of singer/songwriter ever since she began at the school, and after graduation.)
All of the master’s students have previously earned bachelors 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 Camilio; 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 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.
Located in the spectacular building of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, which looks like one half of a giant futuristic headphone, the 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 with high ceilings, walls and floor with variable surfaces for different acoustic configurations and two isolated iso-overdub rooms as well as a control room.
“Our aim in establishing the new Berklee campus in Valencia,” said Guillermo Cisneros, vice president for Global Initiatives, Berklee College of Music and executive director, Berklee 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. 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 al We look forward to helping them launch their careers across the globe.”
Berklee College of Music boasts a music industry “Who’s Who” of alumni who have received 222 Grammy Awards. President Brown said “the selection process (for the master’s programs) proved to be tough as we received such a high number of applications from very talented musicians.”