Tenor and Conductor Placido Domingo Awarded Honorary Doctorate at Berklee in Valencia, Spain
Renowned tenor and international conductor Placido Domingo was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree by Berklee College of Music at its campus in Valencia, Spain on Friday. The event took place at the Teatro Martín i Soler of the Palau de les Arts and was attended by local government officials and dignitaries and Berklee's Valencia campus leadership.
The ceremony, led by Guillermo Cisneros, Berklee vice president for global initiatives, featured Berklee students and Victor Mendoza, contemporary performance program director, performing in honor of Domingo. The performance also featured a collaboration with students from the Placido Domingo Advanced Center, also housed at the Palau de les Arts.
"I am extremely proud of this recognition, especially coming from an institution dedicated not only to music but to education, both pillars of my career and legacy," said Domingo. "In addition, it is a great pleasure to have a connection between Boston and Valencia since both have been so important in my career." Domingo sang Handel's Messiah with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of his career, and performed his first Bohéme at the Palau de les Arts.
The degree was awarded by Larry Simpson, Berklee provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, in recognition of Domingo's achievements in music and for his enduring contributions to international culture. "Plácido Domingo is without a doubt an opera living legend," said Simpson. "His unique instrument, profound knowledge, understanding of the art of music, and unparalleled expressivity, transcend space and time. Because of this and the impact he has in the community on a global level, it is an honor for us to bestow this title."
Domingo, a native of Madrid, is a world-renowned, multifaceted artist, recognized not only as one of the finest and most influential singing actors in the history of opera, but also as a respected orchestral conductor. As General Director of the Los Angeles Opera, he is a major force as an opera administrator as well. Domingo turned 73 in January of 2014. His gifts and energy remain undiminished and he continues to perform around the world.
Domingo joins such esteemed Berklee honorary doctorate recipients as Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Chucho Valdes, Juan Luis Guerra, Paco de Lucia, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Sting, Gloria Estefan, Carole King, and Willie Nelson.
About Berklee's Valencia campus: Berklee's Valencia campus is the first international campus established by the renowned Berklee College of Music - and its first campus outside of Boston. Located in the iconic building of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain, the magnificent 3,600 square metre campus has been designed specifically for music and is equipped with state-of-the art technology. Berklee in Valencia aims to provide a hub to launch the careers across the globe for the most musically talented international students. Offering a unique curriculum, as well as an International Career Center to assist students in their transition from student to music professional, the campus presented Berklee College of Music's first graduate master's degree programs in contemporary music (Scoring for Film, Television and Video Games; Contemporary Studio Performance; and Global Entertainment and Music Business;) in September 2012 and launched a fourth new master program: Music Technology and Innovation in September 2013. In addition, Berklee in Valencia offers a Study Abroad Program for Berklee students from Boston to study for a term at Valencia, Summer and Special Programs, as well as a new way for musicians around the world to join the global music community - as performers, as practitioners, and as leaders.
About Berklee College of Music: Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than 65 years, the college has evolved to reflect the current state of the music industry, leading the way with baccalaureate studies in performance, music business/management, songwriting, music therapy, film scoring, and more. With a focus on global learning, Berklee in Valencia, a new campus in Spain, is hosting the college's first graduate programs, while Berklee Online serves distance learners worldwide with extension classes and degreegranting programs. The Berklee City Music Network provides afterschool programming for underserved teens in 45 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. With a student body representing nearly 100 countries and alumni and faculty that have won more than 310 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today-and tomorrow.
Pictured: Brian Cole, dean of Berklee in Valencia; Alberto Fabra, governor of Valencia; Placido Domingo; Larry Simpson, Berklee provost and vice president for academic affairs; Guillermo Cisneros, vice president for global initiatives and executive director of Berklee in Valencia. Photo by Histeria Producciones.