New England Conservatory, as the oldest independent music school in the United States, has a distinguished history of producing some of America’s most gifted musical artists and cultural leaders. As the year 2008 comes to a close, it has reason to boast of new eminence along with a healthy economic ledger. It is also poised to be a leader in a world full of new and renewed challenges — for music, for musicians, and for society. This new Strategic Plan, the product of many good minds and loyal hearts, seeks to guide the Conservatory and its students as they negotiate these challenges and to assure NEC’s place at the forefront of musical education.

Although implementation of the Plan may come under pressure from the turbulent economy, we feel confident going forward, secure in knowing our direction is set, and poised to adjust our pace as dictated by fiscal prudence. We are convinced that a well-conceived Plan is the most important armor with which to weather adverse conditions, and is a positive guarantee of success in favorable circumstances.