Boston Conservatory at Berklee Announces Mischa Salkind-Pearl as Chair of Composition, Contemporary Music, and Core Studies

An accomplished composer and educator, Salkind-Pearl brings 12 years of faculty experience to his new role as chair.

May 5, 2023

Boston Conservatory at Berklee has named Mischa Salkind-Pearl (M.M. '10, composition) as the chair of composition, contemporary music, and core studies starting on June 1. In this role, Salkind-Pearl will oversee artistic programming and curriculum for the Music Division’s composition and contemporary classical music performance graduate programs, in addition to all core courses in music theory and music history.

Salkind-Pearl joined the Conservatory in 2010, teaching and creating over ten courses, including music theory, composition, and the Music and English Intensive Program for ESL (English as a second language) learners. In August 2022, he took on the role of interim chair of composition, contemporary music, and core studies, successfully launching a new sequence of required music history courses and a new course for first-year students, Music in Context. He also designed and carried out two successful guest artist residencies with Splinter Reeds and The Rhythm Method, both of whom performed concerts of their own repertoire at the Conservatory in addition to collaborating with composers and contemporary performance majors. In 2021, Salkind-Pearl became director of the High School Composition Intensive (HSCI), a Boston Conservatory summer program that annually welcomes 60 teen composers to campus for two weeks. He is an alumnus of the Conservatory, where he received his master’s degree in music composition in 2010.

“Mischa has been an invaluable member of the Boston Conservatory faculty for almost 13 years,” says Michael Shinn, Boston Conservatory at Berklee dean of music. “He is beloved throughout the community for his collaborative leadership, care for colleagues and students alike, innovative thought leadership, and excellence as both a teacher and composer. His combination of professional and academic experience uniquely positions him as a key leader who will guide the music department forward."

Salkind-Pearl's music has been performed by ensembles around the U.S., Japan, Germany, and Italy. Boston Classical Review named his opera Troubled Water (with Guerilla Opera) the Best Premiere of 2015. His current projects include a consortium commission for a string quartet that integrates traditional techniques of American weaving, a collaboration with fiction writer Franny Zhang, and a commission for a concert-length work for the Knoxville-based duo Two Way Street.

Salkind-Pearl has composed for various acclaimed artists, including ensemble mise-en, Philipp Stäudlin, Tony Arnold, Lilit Hartunian, Transient Canvas, Diagenesis Duo, and Callithumpian Consort. In 2018, he composed, performed in, and recorded music for the 2018 documentary Art in Smog by filmmaker Lydia Chen. His work A Poppy of Erasure was included in the exhibition Intersections: Masters of Line and Space at the Akron Art Museum in 2016.

Salkind-Pearl founded and served as artistic director of Boston's Equilibrium, an ensemble that presented concerts highlighting the music of Boston's diverse contemporary music community. His music can be heard on Ludovico Ensemble's portrait CD of his work, I Might Be Wrong, Transient Canvas’s Wired, and Chen Li Music's CD, Pluralities. He is composer in residence for the Ludovico Ensemble, and was the 2020-2021 composer in residence at Concord Academy in Massachusetts. He received his bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College and a certificate in American Contemporary Music from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. More information is available on his website.