Berklee’s Campus in Valencia Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary

A snapshot of the class of '17 on their first day on campus. Photo by Tato Baeza.
  • More than 1,500 students from 71 countries have studied at the college’s only international campus since 2012.
  • In five years, more than $4,000,000 in scholarships have been granted to graduate students.
  • Guitarist, bandleader, and composer John McLaughlin will be performing as special guest at this year’s commencement concert in July 8, and will receive a Honorary Doctorate on July 10 during the commencement ceremony.

This year marks five years since Berklee College of Music’s campus in Valencia, Spain opened its doors for the very first time. Since 2012, many things have happened at the college’s first and only campus outside the US; among them, more than 1,500 students from 71 countries have attended; more than $4,000,000 in scholarships have been granted to graduate students. The campus established Berklee’s first graduate degrees in music business, music production, film scoring and contemporary performance, as well as the first Berklee Study Abroad and First Year Abroad programs, in addition to three summer programs.

The campus has hosted hundreds of international visiting artists and guests speakers like Victor Wooten, Béla Fleck, Abi Washburn, Pablo Alborán, Patrice Rushen, or Alejandro Amenábar, and more than 500 master classes, concerts, and events that have been attended by more than 35,000 people, as well as 20,000 recording sessions in its studios and four editions of TEDxBerkleeValencia; collaborated with such organizations as Universal Music, the United Nations, Sónar, and Midem; and launched social initiatives with SocialMusik, Hospital de Crónicos de Mislata, and the Asociación de Familiares de Alzheimer de Valencia (AFAV).

This is just a small sample of the impact Berklee has had in Valencia during the last five years  and, in order to celebrate the many milestones, the campus has put together a series of commemorative events aimed at deepening and strengthening the ties with other artistic collectives in the Mediterranean region. These include:

  • A contest to transform a library wall into an artistic mural, commissioned to and executed by French artist Paul Loubet, who was selected as the contest winner with his mural, “Jazz.”
  • An alumni reunion on July 8 that will attract musicians, composers, producers, creators, and music industry professionals from around the world.
  • A public commencement concert, La Nit de Berklee, on July 8 in front of the Hemisfèric at the City of Arts and Sciences. This year, the event will welcome John McLaughlin as a special performing guest. The legendary guitarist will also receive an honorary doctorate during the 2017 commencement ceremony on July 10 at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia.

“The incredible efforts, dedication and talent of the whole team at Berklee Valencia have made it possible to celebrate our first 5 years—and counting—with the enormous satisfaction of hitting some remarkable milestones following the work of the Boston campus for over 70 years, especially being aware that we have provided our students with the best conditions possible for them to integrate in the labour market,” says María Martínez Iturriaga, the campus’ executive director and a key player in the Valencia campus’ evolution. “In fact, 90% of our graduate alumni are currently active in the music industry in more than 40 countries, working with artists like Alejandro Sanz or Beyoncé, and in companies like the Orchard, Spotify, and Sony Music. That, without a doubt, is one of our biggest indicators of success at Berklee as an educational institution.”

Music professionals such as Victor Mendoza, Vanessa Garde, Samuel Arvidsson, and Peter Juul Kristensen are among the faculty members who, year after year, accompany students on their path to becoming professionals. Their efforts are coupled with the work of  the International Career Center, a personalized counselling service that allows students  to design their international careers in their areas of specialization, including contemporary performance, music production, film scoring, and music business.

“Our 3,600-square-meters state-of-the-art facilities, which were designed by Walters-Storyk Design Group, equipped with the latest technologies, and open to students 18 hours a day, are another pillar of our successful educational model,” says Jorge Rostoll, senior director of operations of the campus. This educational model earned Berklee’s campus in Valencia recognition by Fundación Excelentia; on June 6, it granted it an award for its role as an educational institution in Spain for the past five years.

These milestones and accolades are not only a testament to the evolution of the campus over the last five years but also a good foundation on which to build its future.

“We’re looking forward to what the next five years will bring, and are truly excited to continue to see our alumni body grow and become the next generation of leaders in the music industry, as well as to consolidate Berklee’s campus in Valencia as a groundbreaking laboratory for talent, innovation, creativity, and, of course, music,” concludes Iturriaga.

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