Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Boston Conservatory at Berklee (formerly The Boston Conservatory) is a performing arts conservatory associated with the Berklee College of Music and located in Boston, Massachusetts. It grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, dance and theater.[1]

Boston Conservatory at Berklee
TypePrivate performing arts conservatory
Parent institution
Berklee College of Music
Senior Vice President and Executive DirectorCathy Young
StudentsApproximately 750
Location, ,
United States

Founded in 1867, the conservatory offers Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Master of Fine Arts and Master of Music degrees, as well as Graduate Performance Diplomas, Artist Diplomas, and Professional Studies Certificates.[2]

In 2016, Berklee College of Music and The Boston Conservatory merged. The combined institution, located in Boston's historic Back Bay and Fenway neighborhoods, is now known as "Berklee," with the conservatory being "Boston Conservatory at Berklee."[3]


On February 11, 1867, violinist and composer Julius Eichberg founded The Boston Conservatory as a professional training academy and a community music school. It was one of the first conservatories to grant admission to African Americans and women.

In 1873, Eichberg's operetta “The Doctor of Alcontara” was performed at the conservatory by the first African-American opera company in the U.S.

In 1878, Eichberg established the Eichberg String Quartet, the first professional female quartet.

In 1893, upon Eichberg's death, direction was assumed by R. Marriner Floyd, with Herman P. Chelius, organist and composer, serving as the musical director. Under their direction, the school was first incorporated in 1896.

After the turn of the 20th century, the conservatory merged with the National Associated Studios of Music, and created the first "grand opera" department in the U.S.

In 1943, Jan Veen established The Boston Conservatory Dance Division, the first program to emphasize both classical ballet and America's emerging modern dance. In 1951, the school gained authority to award Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in drama and dance.

Prior to 2015, The Boston Conservatory was an independent private college with accredited programs in music, dance, and theater. The conservatory has presented more than 700 performances each year.[4]

In 2015, The Boston Conservatory began talks with Berklee College of Music to explore a merger of the two schools.[5]

On January 19, 2016, the two schools announced that they would merge under an institutional umbrella called Berklee, which now consists of Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Berklee College of Music, Berklee Online, and Berklee Valencia.[6][7]


Programs of Study

  • The Music Division
    • For the 2014-2015 school year, the Music Division enrolled 198 undergraduate and 211 graduate students taught by 114 full- and part-time faculty. The school awards the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees as well as Graduate Performance Diplomas, Artist Diplomas and Professional Studies Certificates. Degrees are offered in the following: Brass, Choral Conducting, Collaborative Piano, Composition, Contemporary Music Performance, Guitar, Harp, Multiple Woodwinds, Music Education, Opera, Orchestral Conducting, Percussion/Marimba, Piano, Strings, Vocal Pedagogy, Voice/Opera and Woodwinds.[8]
  • The Dance Division
    • For the 2014-2015 school year, the Dance Division enrolled 129 undergraduate students. Training in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, ethnic styles, Pilates, Alexander Technique, and choreography is offered. The Dance Division offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The Director of the Dance Division is Cathy Young.
      • The B.F.A. in contemporary dance performance program has been recognized by Backstage[9] and[10] as the best contemporary dance program in the country.
  • The Theater Division
    • The Boston Conservatory's Theater Division has developed a specialization in musical theater, and in 2015 launched degree programs in Contemporary Theater and Multidisciplinary Stage Management. The department offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees. Seniors may choose an emphasis in Directing, Music Performance, Dance, or Acting. In the 2014-2015 school year, the Theater Division enrolled 254 undergraduate and 28 graduate students. The director of the Theater Division is Neil Donohoe.

    Summer Programs

    • Summer Dance Intensive (SDI)[11]
      • This three-week intensive program is for dancers (ages 15–25) with high proficiency in ballet who are looking to grow and expand their repertoire into contemporary and modern theater dance. Classes include courses in ballet and modern, pointe and variations, Pilates and Alexander techniques, choreography and percussive dance. The program typically takes place in July–August.
    • Vocal/Choral Intensive (VCI)[12]
      • This two-week program is for high school students (ages 15–18) who are serious about singing and looking to build technical skills and musicianship. It offers coursework in solo, opera, musical theater and choral repertoire. The program typically takes place in July.
    • Musical Theater Dance Intensive (MTDI)[13]
      • This three week intensive is for students (ages 15–25) with a high proficiency in dance who are looking to build skills in dance, voice and acting. The program typically takes place in July.
    • Musical Theater Acting Intensive (MTAI)[14]
      • Designed for emerging theater artists who want to delve deep into the complex art of character development, with intensive studies in acting, singing, and movement. The program typically takes place in July.
    • High School Composition Intensive (HSCI)[15]
      • This two week program is for students (ages 15–18) who have a serious interest in music composition. Students will engage in rigorous daily practice of composition and have their original work performed by a professional string quartet. This program typically typically takes place in July.

    Student life

    Instead of dormitories, Boston Conservatory at Berklee uses Victorian brownstones for on-campus housing. Undergraduate rooms consist of quints, quads, triples, doubles, and singles.

    Approximately 29% of students live on campus.[16]


    Notable alumni

    Notable faculty

    Boston Conservatory Leadership

    See also


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