In 1945, the Berklee College of Music was founded by MIT-trained engineer Lawrence Berk, with the aim to provide students with practical preparation for careers in music, and do so through the study and practice of contemporary music, a revolutionary principle at the time. Current trends in the musical landscape have come a long way since 1945, but the Boston-based school has remained up-to-beat by supplementing its core curriculum with studies in emerging musical genres and the latest in new technology. Berklee attracts an international student body with diverse musical backgrounds and interests, be it jazz, rock, hip-hop, country, gospel, electronica, Latin or funk. The Berklee curriculum is centered around the belief that musicianship, and the self-discipline, inquisitiveness and creativity it demands, are essential qualities for achievement in any pursuit.
In October 2008, Berklee announced its plans to create a new school in Valencia, Spain. Scheduled to open in 2011, the satellite college is the product of three years of talks between Berklee representatives, the Spanish creators' rights organization (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores [SGAE]) and the government of Valencia. Unlike any other school of its kind, Berklee Valencia will focus on music for film and digital media, recording, the global music business, and musical traditions indigenous to Spain, the Middle East, and Africa. Under the leadership of President Francisco Camps, the Generalitat of Valencia welcomed the addition to their artistic and cultural landscape with enthusiasm, ceding a four-acre piece of land for the new school near the City of the Arts and Sciences.
On this land, SGAE will construct ARTeria Valencia, a modernist tower designed by architect Anton Garcia-Abril, which will house the Berklee-run college. In a groundbreaking event held in a temporary structure erected on the site, President Camps spoke highly of the new project. "In 2005, I visited Berklee, and I got very excited by the energy there. We are at the crossroads of many different cultures here in Valencia, and it is clear to me that we have much to say to each other: in Spanish. In English. And, in music." Those who attended the groundbreaking ceremony were handed Moleskine-produced music notebooks, stamped with the new Berklee Valencia logo and featuring images of the soon-to-be erected ARTeria tower. A bilingual leaflet was inserted in every notebook, detailing the new school's mission to let music transcend national boundaries.