April 22, 2021

MSM joins forces with the Royal College of Music (London), the Royal Danish Academy of Music, the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna to launch THE GLOBAL CONSERVATOIRE


The Global Conservatoire is a new digital learning environment, or “global classroom” that will expand each partner school’s course offerings, opening up students to a new world of asynchronous music studies against a rich cultural backdrop.

April 22, 2021 (NEW YORK, NY) – Manhattan School of Music (MSM), the Royal College of Music (London) (RCM), the Royal Danish Academy of Music (RDAM), and the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW) have joined forces to form the Global Conservatoire, an ambitious digital learning environment that will expand each institutional partner’s course offerings, opening up a new and flexible world of asynchronous courses against a rich cultural backdrop.

This innovative partnership, which launches as a pilot program in 2021–22 with one course in the fall semester and additional offerings in spring, will bring faculty and students from each of the four institutional partners into an online classroom, cultivating an international exchange of ideas. The program’s asynchronous design will allow students from four conservatories in three different time zones to work at their own pace, completing courses around busy rehearsal and practice schedules.

Students in the Global Conservatoire will gain new perspectives on a range of music studies, learning in a global ‘classroom’ while never having to leave their home institution. Drawing from the expertise of faculty from each of the program partners, the Global Conservatoire’s online curriculum will provide access to subjects unique to each partner school. And, although asynchronous to allow maximum flexibility in student and faculty schedules, each course will include synchronous, online sessions to build and deepen the relationship between instructors and students.

The first year or pilot phase of the program will offer eight courses in 2021–22 with the Global Conservatoire’s course catalog expanding each year during the partnership’s first five years. The resulting courses will provide students with a diverse choice, with offerings equally apportioned among the four partner schools.

The Global Conservatoire, which will be available to both undergraduate and graduate students, seeks to draw on its partners’ wide-ranging background and extensive collaboration in distance learning prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the lessons learned from last spring’s rapid-response pivot to online learning through this academic year. By consolidating its partners’ collective experience in the digital realm and unique subject expertise, the Global Conservatoire will lead a groundbreaking flagship program that transcends borders, connecting students from four prominent international conservatories into what will eventually become a virtual, transnational academic hub or ‘global college town.’

From a statement issued by the leaders of the Global Conservatoire’s four partner institutions, James Gandre, President, MSM; Colin Lawson, Director, RCM; Uffe Savery, President, RDAM; Ulrike Sych, Rector, MDW:

“We are so pleased that an idea sprung from our collective discussions in fall 2019 has blossomed so fully and efficiently, and with an immediacy that reflects the times in which we find ourselves. Individually, each institution that comprises the Global Conservatoire (GC) educates future artists, arts administrators, educators, and contributing citizens. What the GC, an entirely new type of virtual inter-university, international environment, will do is effectively broaden each of the four partners’ curricular offerings and add a truly global dimension to their students’ learning experience. We are proud to launch the Global Conservatoire and to welcome our students to a new digital age of global learning.”


Contemporary conservatory students seek evermore globally informed and progressive courses, as well as flexible study patterns, greater subject choice, and a variety of delivery styles. The Global Conservatoire partners understand the value of adapting to meet students’ needs. By drawing on world-leading education principles that harness the digital sphere, this exciting partnership will transform the quality and methods of online teaching in performing arts higher education, and, in doing so, bring students heightened digital fluency and an enhanced global perspective.

For more information, please contact:

Jeff Breithaupt
Vice President for Media and Communications, Manhattan School of Music
917.493.4702 | jbreithaupt@msmnyc.edu