Location: Jordan Hall Building
Andrea Kalyn, New England Conservatory's 17th and first female President, began her tenure in January 2019. Dr. Kalyn’s deep commitment to musical excellence, her strong relationship with faculty, and her profound sense of responsibility for music education are hallmarks of her exemplary leadership. Dr. Kalyn is fundamentally committed to advancing the place of music in the world and to strengthening connections among composers, performers, and audiences.
In her first three years as President, Dr. Kalyn has examined the modern conservatory model through the lens of relevance. NEC founded the Center for Cultural Equity and Belonging (CEB) to shape, support, and advance institutional practices relative to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. A CEB Advisory Council, formed from a diverse group of students, staff, faculty, alumni, trustees and the President’s Council, acts as a thought partner for the President, providing perspective, advice, and insights to make NEC a welcoming place to learn and work.
Under Dr. Kalyn’s leadership, NEC launched its first-ever Collaboration Challenge—an open invitation to the entire NEC community to submit ideas that would build on the Conservatory’s tradition of educational excellence and innovation. From this challenge, three new collaborative academic and student life programs emerged—Theory Reimagined, Song Lab, and the First-Year Experience. Major funding from a new Catalyst Fund supports current and future initiatives including new curricular opportunities, tech-enabled spaces, and technology-empowered platforms.
Due to her collaborative leadership and nimble planning, NEC emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic as a stronger community dedicated to serving Greater Boston neighborhoods and partner programs through music. With new staff and faculty appointments and the undertaking of an ambitious strategic plan, Dr. Kalyn is securing the future of NEC for the next generation of exceptional artists and music educators.
A trained musicologist and pianist, Dr. Kalyn holds a PhD in musicology from the Eastman School of Music, where her research centered on 20th century American music. She serves on the Board of Trustees of WGBH, the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras, and chairs the ProArts Consortium.
Prior to her arrival at NEC, Dr. Kalyn served as Dean of Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she also was a professor of music. During her tenure, Dr. Kalyn secured major capital funding, significant donations of musical instruments, and a major gift from jazz legend Sonny Rollins. Entrepreneurship and collaboration was evident throughout her curricular work, which included founding Oberlin’s entrepreneurship programs, accelerator and pitch competitions; founding the Oberlin-Como Piano Academy in partnership with the Lake Como International Academy; creating the department of Pedagogy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement; the creation of a new major in jazz voice; extending the American Roots residency; overseeing the launch of the Artist Diploma in Piano Technology; developing new partnerships with Steinway & Sons and the Shanghai Conservatory; and designing the Center for Convergence. Under her leadership, Oberlin opened the William and Helen Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space, an underground performance club; restructured its composition department; commissioned new works; and relaunched the Oberlin Music recording label distributed by Naxos.