On schedule to open its doors to postgraduate students in September, Berklee College of Music in Valencia recently announced a range of scholarships financed by some of the most illustrious names in the music industry, namely Alberto Iglesias, Howard Shore, Michel Camilo and Juan Luis Guerra.

These scholarships will cover 50 per cent of the tuition fees and be available to selected students from the first Master’s degree intake. Berklee’s President, Roger Brown, explains: “In order to remain the world’s leading college for contemporary music education, we must also offer scholarships at our new campus in Valencia so that the most gifted musicians from all over the world have the means to attend. Quincy Jones is a Berklee alumnus who would not have had the opportunity to attend without scholarship support, and is a prime example of the importance and success of this practice.”

This move indicates the level of commitment that Berklee College of Music has towards its new Spanish campus and will undoubtedly be welcomed by the student body, some of whom will benefit directly from these awards.

All candidates entering one of the intensive one-year Master’s degree courses will automatically be considered for a scholarship. The criteria that will be used to identify worthy candidates will be the students’ innate talent and their need for financial support. Students applying for the Master’s degree course in Scoring for Film, Television and Video Gaming will be competing for two scholarships: the Alberto Iglesias Scholarship and the Howard Shore Scholarship. Alberto Iglesias is one of Spain’s most successful composers of film scores and during his career has collaborated with Oliver Stone, Pedro Almodóvar and John Malkovich. His most recent Academy Award nomination was for his work on the soundtrack of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Howard Shore is perhaps now most famous for his Lord of the Rings scores, although his most recent success was his work on Martin Scorsese’s fantasy film, Hugo. Howard Shore, who is a Berklee alumnus, has also won four Grammys, three Golden Globes and three Genie Awards.

Candidates applying for the Master’s in Contemporary Studio Performance will also benefit from two financial awards: the Michael Camilo Scholarship and the Juan Luis Guerra Scholarship. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Michel Camilo is a Grammy and Emmy award-winning jazz pianist, bandleader, composer, lecturer and visiting professor. Juan Luis Guerra is a jazz, pop and merengue singer, who was also born in the Dominican Republic and is the recipient of 12 Latin Grammys, two Grammys, ten Billboard Awards and four Latin Billboard Awards.

Guerra is especially keen to involve himself in Berklee College of Music’s new Spanish campus: “A musical education is complementary to talent, which is a gift from God – and to have the opportunity to study at Berklee is a great privilege. It is an honour for me to put my name to a Berklee scholarship and I hope to directly contribute to the learning and future success of those who receive my scholarship – I already have planned visits in my agenda to go to the campus in Valencia and spend time with the students,” he said.