The Artist Diploma (A.D.) is Boston Conservatory at Berklee's most prestigious performance program. Available by invitation only, this highly selective and specialized program offers full tuition to exceptional young performers who have already begun a promising career in music with notable successes. Because the program is focused almost exclusively on personalized attention and mentorship, only two to three students are offered this coveted opportunity each year.
The goal of an A.D. is to construct a mutually edifying, symbiotic relationship between the candidate and the Conservatory during a two-year residency period. For this reason, the A.D. is designed to be a form of artistic partnership between the student and the school, rather than a typical degree program.
To be considered for the A.D., students are expected to have established a music career and have demonstrated success through concert performances, professional reviews, orchestral employment, and future engagements or projects. They must also have completed a bachelor's-level degree or higher. Students invited to apply to the program must provide a prescreening in the form of a comprehensive press kit and recording by the school's application deadline, which is December 1. Based on the success of this prescreening, applicants may be invited to a live audition in Boston, during which admission into the program is determined.
Throughout the two-year program, the Conservatory provides a number of resources and support to encourage maximum growth as a professional artist: faculty mentorship, performance opportunities, full access to academic courses, a supportive, diverse, and challenging artistic community, and a full scholarship to alleviate any financial restrictions.
In exchange, the candidate is actively engaged with the Conservatory community and is expected to make significant contributions to the quality of the school's learning environment. As an artist, the A.D. candidate contributes performances of the highest possible caliber. As a colleague and citizen, the individual is articulate and effective in personal expression, shows extraordinary ability to engage and challenge others, and has a positive impact on the communities with whom he or she engages.
The successful A.D. candidate often spends a significant amount of time outside the Conservatory traveling to competitions and performances, while maintaining ongoing commitments to the Conservatory community, which they honor with integrity and consistency.
Each residency is specifically and uniquely constructed to encompass the particular strengths and goals of the candidate. Specific goals and requirements for the residency are determined during meetings with the candidate that include his or her designated faculty mentor and the dean. These requirements will, in almost all cases, include applied lessons, appropriate performance activity (including ensemble or chamber activity, as appropriate), and formal solo recitals. In addition, goals regarding the candidate's contribution as a citizen, mentor, and teacher will be discussed and agreed upon.