Two Boston based performing arts institutions have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that paves the way toward an eventual merger. The presidents and trustees of The Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music have been exploring the benefits of an affiliation that would create the world’s most dynamic and comprehensive programs for music, dance, and theater education. A merger agreement could take effect in 2016.

The MOU was pursued as leadership from both schools realized that, together, they could create a visionary response to the rapidly evolving needs of 21st century artists.

Within a new Berklee organization, The Boston Conservatory’s highly regarded programs in music, dance and musical theater would retain autonomy, while giving Berklee students access to a uniquely-designed curriculum – especially in dance and theater. Similarly, Conservatory students would have access to Berklee’s pioneering studies in jazz and contemporary music, technology, music business, music therapy, sound design, production, film scoring, and online education. Conservatory faculty will have the opportunity to develop courses for Berklee Online, the largest non-profit online music school in the world. Both schools are committed to expanding online education as a component of addressing college affordability.

Founded in 1867, The Boston Conservatory is an independent private college. Berklee College of Music, a non-profit educational institution, was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For 70 years, the college has evolved to reflect the current state of the music industry. With a focus on global learning, Berklee in Valencia, a new campus in Spain, is hosting the college’s first graduate programs, while Berklee Online serves distance learners worldwide with extension classes and degree-granting programs. The Berklee City Music Network provides after-school programming for underserved teens in 48 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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