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Berklee Abu Dhabi Center Opens

Jazzed Magazine • News • March 11, 2020

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Berklee College of Music has officially expanded its presence to the UAE. Developed in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT), the Berklee Abu Dhabi Center underscores Berklee’s belief in the transformative power of culture and that an education in the arts deepens cultural awareness and empathy. The Center officially opened on the weekend of February 28, 2020.

Building off Berklee’s long history of training and working with artists from the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi Center will be the first physical location in the region, providing local students the opportunity to take part in Berklee’s world-class education. The Center will amplify the rich tradition of Arabic music and culture, highlighting Berklee’s belief that the ability to experience and be stimulated by diverse cultures is paramount to creative success. Opening courses will include turntablism songwriting and production, commercial dance, and the music of the middle east.

As part of the partnership with Berklee, DCT will offer $5 million in fellowships for students from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia to partake in programs at the Abu Dhabi Center or at Berklee’s other campuses in Boston, New York, Valencia, or online.

The new center is located on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi’s cultural district, housed in a repurposed building designed by Norman Foster. The center will be led by Grammy Award Winner Gael Hedding and the internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Mayssa Karaa.

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