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Berklee College of Music has appointed Casey Driessen the director of the Contemporary Performance graduate program at the school's campus in Valencia, Spain. The American musician, composer, producer, educator, and Berklee alumnus will take up his new role on June 1 in preparation for the start of the academic year in September 2015.
"We are delighted to welcome Casey to the Valencia campus faculty. He brings a wealth of industry experience and will help prepare our students to succeed as musicians and performers on the global stage," said Maria Iturriaga, associate executive director and dean of Admissions for Berklee’s Valencia campus.
“I'm excited to take up my new role at Berklee—and a new life in Spain,” said Driessen. “And I'm looking forward to drawing on my diverse background and encouraging our master's students—the performers of tomorrow—to develop their artistic voices through self-sufficiency, dedication to craft, and an open mind to creative stimulus from life.”
Driessen, a Grammy Award-nominated artist, began his musical career as a traditional American bluegrass fiddler. After graduating from Berklee's Boston campus, he developed a unique performance style using his fiddle as his voice and creating complex arrangements through live audio looping. A polished live performer, studio musician, producer, mixer, and engineer, he has recorded a number of albums, both solo and with collaborators that include Béla Fleck and Steve Earle, as well as scores for TV and film. Extensive touring has taken him to 16 countries as a solo artist, bandleader, sideman, tour manager, stage manager, merchandise manager, crew, and drum tech.
A skilled educator, Driessen has more than 15 years of experience teaching in various countries, including Australia, Belgium, China, Finland, Japan, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.
“Casey is an accomplished performer and fiddler extraordinaire, as well as a composer and artist who has embraced technology to further develop his own unique artistic voice,” added Brian Cole, dean of Academic Affairs for Berklee’s Valencia campus. “This, combined with his international teaching experience, makes him the ideal person to lead our Contemporary Performance master’s program.”
Launched in September of 2012, Berklee’s master of music in contemporary performance is designed to give advanced instrumentalists and vocalists the experience and skills in performance and production technology to take their careers to the next level. During the one-year intensive degree program, students hone their live and recorded performance skills through private instruction, ensembles, and frequent performances, and work with faculty and visiting artists to develop their own artistic identity. Students also become adept at pre-production, recording, and mixing processes at the campus' state-of-the-art recording studios and scoring stage, further preparing them to meet the unique demands facing the artist of tomorrow.