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Berklee, Boston Conservatory finalize merger

It’s music to many people’s ears.

In a joint statement Tuesday, officials from Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory announced that a formal agreement has been reached to merge the Fenway institutions, a move that will create a central training ground for students interested in pursuing an education in music, dance, and the performing arts.

Both schools’ boards of trustees voted unanimously to unite Berklee and the conservatory. Eight conservatory trustees will join Berklee’s board.

The schools will celebrate the agreement during a signing ceremony at the Berklee Performance Center on Wednesday.

Berklee will retain its name, and Berklee’s new partner will become the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. The schools will share facilities, faculty, and programs as part of the agreement.


“This merger is a bold step into the future of performing arts education,“ said David Scott Sloan, chairman of Boston Conservatory’s board of trustees.

In June, the two schools had signed a memorandum of understanding before launching a six-month process to explore the potential merger.

The merger allows for the creation of more summer and study abroad programs at the Berklee campus in Valencia, Spain. Conservatory faculty will also have the opportunity to develop courses for Berklee Online.

“We intend to collectively invest in the new Berklee — regardless of discipline, program, or genre — and hope to create significant artistic breakthroughs,” Jeff Shames, chairman of Berklee’s board, said in a statement.

The Boston Conservatory, founded in 1867, offers degree programs in music, dance, and theater — with a particular emphasis on musical theater. It has an endowment of approximately $15 million and an enrollment of about 730 students.

Berklee was founded in 1945 and has an endowment of $321.5 million and more than 4,000 students. It offering majors in everything from film scoring and jazz composition to music business/management.


Steve Annear can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.