Michael Shinn Named Dean of Music for Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Michael Shinn, D.M.A., has been appointed dean of music for Boston Conservatory at Berklee. His appointment will begin on August 15.

June 29, 2017

Today, Boston Conservatory at Berklee announced Michael Shinn, D.M.A., as dean of music. The appointment will begin on August 15. Shinn joins Boston Conservatory from the Juilliard School, where he is chair of keyboard studies and an instructor of piano, chamber music, piano pedagogy, keyboard skills, and analysis for performers. In addition, he serves on the piano faculty of Juilliard’s Evening Division, and is a senior advisor for educational and artistic programs at Juilliard Global Ventures.

“We are delighted to welcome Michael to Boston Conservatory at Berklee,” said Cathy Young, executive director of Boston Conservatory at Berklee. “His dynamic work as a performer, educator, and arts entrepreneur is both energizing and inspiring.”

Berklee President Roger H. Brown echoed Young’s welcome. “Michael is a vibrant and visionary addition to the Conservatory’s leadership team. He is also a triathlete who will bring great energy and endurance to this vital task.”

Shinn boasts an impressive portfolio as a performer, educator, arts advocate, and entrepreneur. In addition to his extensive work teaching and building online learning tools at Juilliard, Shinn is the cofounder and codirector of pianoSonoma, a unique music festival that brings together artists in residence and musicians of all backgrounds to collaborate and perform in Sonoma County. Since its launch in 2011, the festival has garnered international acclaim and expanded to include a vibrant young artist program, designed to engage and inspire the next generation of talented musicians. Shinn also enjoys an active performance career, performing regularly as a recital pianist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and abroad.

At the Conservatory, Shinn will draw upon his previous work with online learning and course building, helping the school to incorporate more technology and entrepreneurship into its esteemed music programs. “Michael has a track record of groundbreaking and high-quality work in music education,” said Joe Bennett, vice president of academic affairs for Boston Conservatory at Berklee. “As chair of keyboard studies at Juilliard, and in his leadership of the institution's online program, Juilliard Open Classroom, Michael has been a tireless advocate for his colleagues and students. He joins us at a time when the Conservatory has a unique opportunity to leverage the advantages made possible by the recent merger with Berklee, and I know he will lead our Music Division on to ever-greater things in 2018 and beyond.”

Shinn will oversee the Conservatory’s Music Division, which is the largest of the school’s three disciplines—dance, music, and theater. The division includes approximately 410 students (200 at the undergraduate level and 210 at the graduate level). Shinn is the first dean to be appointed to Boston Conservatory since the school merged with Berklee in 2016.

“Boston Conservatory at Berklee has such a long and rich tradition of artistic and educational excellence,” Shinn said. “And it now sits atop a precipice of potential for innovation in the arts over the next 150 years. I am truly honored to be joining this revered institution as its next dean of music, and I sincerely look forward to working with the incredible faculty, students, and administration as we look to the future of performing arts education.”

Shinn received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Herbert Stessin and Jerome Lowenthal. He later completed a Doctor of Musical Arts at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.