First established in Boston in 1945, the Berklee College of Music provides students with an all-encompassing programme on modern music and aspects of career development in the industry, through a combination of jazz and contemporary American styles, flamenco, hip-hop and even salsa. It seems only natural that in 2012, a new campus of this prestigious college should open its doors in Valencia as a compliment to the Arts and Sciences complex, (La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias), completed 15 years earlier. This impressive building itself is structured around three main themes: the arts, the sciences and nature, featuring the stunning Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, which comprises of several auditoriums.
Since its inauguration, the school has attracted students from across the world with a keen desire to learn about traditional Mediterranean music, to exchange, share and expand their opportunities for an international career; this new, young and talented population has had various impacts on Valencia, developing the concert and jazz club scenes of the city, whilst redefining the role music plays in this seaside capital. The master classes of the college also involve visits from a range of honorary guests, attracting a movement of renowned musicians to Valencia, such as world-famous Porto Rican double bass player Eddie Gómez on 14 October, who came to receive his honorary doctorate from the Berklee and to perform at the Palau de les Arts, as well as giving demonstrations and classes at the school.
Berklee College of Music is slowly but surely raising the profile of music in Valencia, from a more “cultural” aspect thanks to the influx of diverse nationalities which breathe life into the city and enrich the music scene, making Valencia the envy of many other European capitals.