Berklee announces institute with Shanghai Conservatory of Music

Berklee signed an agreement with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (SHCM) in China to establish an academic partnership that will support the development of modern music in China through the creation of the SHCM-Berklee Contemporary Music Institute. The Shanghai Conservatory Music is one of three conservatories that recruit students at a national level; it will celebrate its 90th anniversary this fall. The SHCM-Berklee institute will explore cross-cultural exchanges and collaborations that aim to develop young, talented musicians, including credit transfers, joint degrees, faculty and student exchanges, summer programs, workshops, music production and research, tours, and festivals.

As part of the first joint activities, Berklee and SHCM will tour a jazz big band ensemble in China, from June 14-23. The group will visit Xian, Wuhan, Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. The first Berklee on the Road (BOR) program in Shanghai will take place in August. During the BOR, professors from both institutions will provide clinics focusing on music arranging, recording and production, and performance.


In attendance for the institute announcement in Shanghai this May were Larry Simpson, Berklee senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, Lin Zaiyong, president of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Ye Xiaogang, chairman of the Chinese Musicians Association, and various municipal government leaders.

Berklee President Roger H. Brown and Lin will serve as council members to the institute along with a group of leaders representing music and education, including Ye, who will serve as the honorary president of the council. SHCM has invited two well-established alumni to be resident artists at the institute: Ms. Du Yun, composer and 2017 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, and Mr. Chang Shilei, a Chinese singer and music producer.

“Berklee is excited to be partnering with one of China’s premier conservatories in the creation of the SHCM-Berklee Contemporary Music Institute,” said Matthew Nicholl, associate vice president of global initiatives at Berklee. “With the establishment of the institute, Berklee and SHCM students will have the opportunity to perform, collaborate, and learn at a global level.”

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