Michael Shinn Appointed Interim Executive Director of Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Shinn has been the dean of music at the Conservatory since 2017.

July 31, 2023

Berklee has named Michael Shinn, D.M.A., dean of music at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, as interim executive director of the Conservatory beginning August 1. In this role, Shinn will oversee the Conservatory’s Dance, Music, and Theater divisions, and work to advance Boston Conservatory's Strategic Direction for 2020–2025. He will also guide the school's operations; provide comprehensive support to the Conservatory community, serving as an advocate for its students, faculty, and staff; and work closely with Berklee Interim President and Provost David Bogen, Berklee senior leadership, the Conservatory's leadership team, and colleagues across the institution in furthering the Conservatory’s goals.

Since joining the Conservatory as dean in 2017, Shinn has directed an artistic planning and strategization process that articulated vision and positioning statements for the Music Division. In support of the Conservatory’s Strategic Direction, he has worked closely with faculty members and the administration to lead the development and refinement of the curriculum, ensuring it remains innovative and cutting-edge. 

“Michael brings a wealth of experience and expertise, including a passion for creating forward-thinking educational programs for artists, and a deep commitment to performing arts excellence and enhancing the student experience," said Bogen. “I look forward to working closely with him in this critical position."

During his tenure, Shinn established important professional partnerships and learning opportunities for Conservatory students. He forged a long-term collaboration with Silkroad Ensemble, now in residence at the Conservatory, that has positively impacted the student experience from performance collaborations at Symphony Hall to artistic risk-taking and interdisciplinary work. He also created a new partnership with Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) to provide professional access and engagement for opera students and foster collaboration with BLO’s emerging artists and leaders, while welcoming world-renowned visiting artists and clinicians to campus. Additionally, he built a partnership with Boston String Academy to promote learning in string pedagogy and support the goal of bringing classical music to underserved communities. 

“I’m thrilled to step into this role and enthusiastically look forward to collaborating with colleagues and students across Berklee. I believe Boston Conservatory is positioned to be the global leader in conservatory performing arts education, and it is a great honor to help lead the institution into its next chapter,” said Shinn.

Prior to joining the Conservatory, Shinn was chair of keyboard studies at The Juilliard School. He also served as senior advisor for artistic and educational programs at Juilliard Global Ventures, where he designed and taught the school’s first online course. In addition, he and his wife, Jessica Chow Shinn, cofounded the pianoSonoma Music Festival in 2011, an annual multiweek event that supports the development of young musicians as they enter a range of creative careers. 

In addition, Shinn has presented panels about the future of arts education and the role of the arts in society at major conferences including SXSW EDU, SphinxConnect, and the Yamaha Educational Leader’s Summit. He maintains an active performance career as a professional pianist and teaches chamber music and studio piano. Shinn received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from The Juilliard School and completed his Doctor of Musical Arts at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.