Boston Conservatory at Berklee's contemporary classical music performance program is designed to expand and develop students' capacities to work independently and collaboratively in the area of contemporary classical music (post-1950). Incorporating influences from early 20th-century classics to electronic music, as well as jazz, pop culture, experimental, and mixed media arts, students will gain the skills and insight needed to achieve a life in music, as performers, composers, teachers, directors, or entrepreneurs.
Each year, the Conservatory presents more than 700 performances by students, faculty, and guest artists, 260 of which are new works. Students in the contemporary classical music performance program alone premiere more than 150 new works, which include commissioned pieces by established composers, as well as new compositions by the Conservatory's talented student composers. In addition to performing in the school's various small and large ensembles, contemporary classical music students participate in the Boston Conservatory Contemporary Ensemble: contraBAND, a group that performs six concerts throughout the year devoted entirely to contemporary music in the classical style.
The Conservatory's prime location in the culturally diverse city of Boston provides students with an abundance of opportunities to gain real-world experience with some of the nation's leading organizations. This positions students to work alongside and learn from groundbreaking artists who are creators and champions of new music and contemporary classical performance.
Students who flourish in the Conservatory's contemporary classical performance program appreciate classical music, but are energized by new works. They are passionate about using their classical training to explore new performance spaces and techniques, and are fearless in their pursuit of new music and new forms of expression. They are collaborative by nature and thrive in an ensemble setting.
Throughout the two-year program, students participate in the Conservatory's Contemporary Ensemble and take advanced courses in improvisation, aural skills, communicating about music, and contemporary compositional techniques. Additionally, students will receive weekly private lessons in their chosen instrument from renowned faculty members. Students are encouraged to audition for and participate in any additional Conservatory ensembles that may enhance their studies in contemporary performance.
With the skills gained in this program, graduates will be prepared to lead a life in the musical community as performers, composers, teachers, directors, or entrepreneurs.