Longy School of Music of Bard College

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Zabriskie House
Longy School of Music of Bard College
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Longy School of Music of Bard College is a conservatory located near Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1915 as the Longy School of Music, it was one of the four independent degree-granting music schools in the Boston region along with the New England Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, and Boston Conservatory. In June 2011, the school announced plans to merge with Bard College, and as of April 1, 2012, the institution officially became Longy School of Music of Bard College.[1] As of the 2014–15 academic year, the conservatory has 248 students in its degree programs from 35 states and 24 countries.


File:Longy Z-house.JPG
Garden Street entrance

Longy School of Music was founded in Boston in 1915 by Georges Longy, a French-born oboist and graduate of the Paris Conservatory who had joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1898. Upon his retirement in 1925, his daughter, Renée Longy-Miquelle, succeeded him as Director. She recruited several of Georges Longy's Boston Symphony colleagues as faculty members and established Dalcroze Eurhythmics as an important part of Longy's curriculum.

The School moved across the Charles River to Cambridge in 1930, and in 1937 took up residence in the stone mansion at One Follen Street, originally built in 1889 by railroad baron Edwin Hale Abbot.[2] During that time, Longy had a close relationship with Harvard and Radcliffe colleges. Many of Harvard’s most talented music students, including Elliott Carter and Daniel Pinkham, crossed the Cambridge Common to study with Longy’s performance faculty. Between 1938 and 1944, the pedagogue and theoretician Nadia Boulanger taught advanced courses in harmony, composition and counterpoint at Longy and established a tradition of focus on music theory and composition that continues to characterize the school to the present day. The school's Preparatory and Continuing Studies program (part-time private lessons, classes, and ensembles offered to area residents) had evolved from its beginnings in the 1920s when it began offering classes for children. In 1978 a Saturday program of theory, private lessons, and other music classes for children was added.[3]

Recent leaders of the school include violinist Roman Totenberg, Director from 1978 to 1985, pianist Victor Rosenbaum, Director from 1985 to 2001, and Kwang-Wu Kim, President from 2001 to 2006. Rosenbaum's tenure as Director saw the establishment of the opera and modern American music departments as well as a growth in student numbers from 600 to 1,200, and in the annual budget from $600,000 to $3.5 million.[4] The current President is Karen Zorn, who took up her post in 2007.[5]

On April 1, 2010, the Boston Globe reported that Longy was in negotiations to become a graduate school of Bard College.[6] President Zorn began preliminary talks with Bard's president, Leon Botstein in July 2009. At the same time, the faculty began a unionization drive, and in January 2010, there was a vote of 51 to 32 in favor of forming a union.[6] Three months later, Longy announced a staff restructuring which resulted in 37 of its 188 teachers (all of whom are part-time) being laid off.[6] In October 2010, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of the union issued a formal complaint against Longy for unfair labor practices.[7][8] In a January 2011 interim injunction, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled that "there is reasonable cause to believe that Longy has committed an unfair labor practice". While acknowledging "Longy's prerogative to pursue faculty restructuring", Judge Patti B. Saris noted in her decision that "it did have a duty to bargain over the effects of this decision", and ordered it to do so. Longy was also ordered to reinstate terminated faculty members with pay until a final settlement was reached, but was not required to reverse job reassignments.[9][10] Following negotiations between the union and the administration in February 2011, a settlement and collective bargaining agreement were reached, and the union officially requested withdrawal of all charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board.[11]

The merger with Bard College began in June 2011,[12] and on April 1, 2012, Longy officially became part of Bard College with its name changing to "Longy School of Music of Bard College". A Master of Arts in Teaching in Music degree program, located in Los Angeles, California and based on the tenets of the Venezuelan movement of social empowerment through music education known as El Sistema, would be the first joint venture between the two schools. The Los Angeles Philharmonic is also a partner in the MAT program, with hands-on teacher training taking place at the LA Phil's premier El Sistema-inspired site, Heart of Los Angeles (YOLA).[13] The Master of Arts in Teaching in Music was created in association with Take a Stand [1], a partnership between Longy, Bard, and the LA Phil that was formed to promote and support the El Sistema-inspired music education movement throughout the US.

In March 2013, Longy announced that it would discontinue its program of Preparatory and Continuing Studies effective August 31, 2013 in order to expand the practice and teaching space available for full-time conservatory students.[3]


The Rey-Waldstein Building
File:Pickman Hall.JPG
Pickman Hall

Zabriskie House

Longy's original home in Cambridge is the Edwin Abbot House, a well-appointed landmark building originally designed by Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow. As is the case with the firm's designs for Cambridge City Hall, the house's extensive Richardsonian detailing and winding open stair recall two of the partners' previous work in the office of legendary Boston architect, H. H. Richardson.[14] The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure now holds rooms for teaching, administration, performance and practice. Following the construction of Pickman Hall in 1970 (see below), Longy began a program in the 1990s to add facilities and renovate existing ones. The program included construction of the Bakalar Music Library, which opened in 1992; acquisition and restoration of the Rey-Waldstein Building; and renovation and expansion of the Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall.

The Rey-Waldstein Building

In 1998, Longy purchased a new building at 33 Garden Street to add further performance and practice space as well as classrooms and offices. Originally built in 1905 and renovated by Longy in 2005, the historic structure is now named in honor of Margaret Rey and H.A. Rey, the creators of Curious George and longtime supporters of Longy, and Margaret Rey’s parents, Felix and Gertrude Waldstein. In 2006 the Cambridge Historical Commission recognized Longy with a Preservation Award for the quality of its restoration and renovation, designed by Wolf Architects of Boston. In addition to providing universal access into the building, Longy restored the original polychromatic exterior, improved the public spaces, and, among other renovations, provided attractive new lounge space and practice rooms in the basement.

Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall

The Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall, built in 1970, is Longy School of Music of Bard College's primary performance space. Named in honor of Edward M. Pickman, President of the Board of Trustees from 1955 to 1959, the 300-seat birch-lined hall provides a setting for masterclasses and both solo and chamber performances. The addition to the historic Abbot House was designed by Huygens and Tappe. Its juxtaposition of abstract contemporary volumes of brick and stone with the historic masonry forms of the Abbot House has been admired over the decades as a model combination of old and new. The completion of a renovation in 1993 was marked with a concert that included the world premiere of Howard Frazin's Amid a Crowd of Stars.[15] In 2010, Longy undertook another round of renovations to fine-tune the Hall's acoustics, expand the lobby, and create a new entrance pavilion. Over 250 concerts now take place in Pickman Hall each year, many of which are free and open to the public.[16]

Programs of study

Through its conservatory, Longy School of Music of Bard College offers two four-year undergraduate programs: Undergraduate Diploma, and Bachelor of Music Degree (the latter in conjunction with Emerson College). At graduate level the School offers three two-year programs: Master of Music Degree, Graduate Performance Diploma, and Artist Diploma (for exceptionally gifted performers).[17]

The following majors are available at both undergraduate and graduate level:

The graduate level offers additional majors in:

Notable alumni

Notable former students and alumni of Longy School of Music of Bard College include:[18]

Notable teachers

Notable faculty at Longy include
Past faculty have included


  1. Longy School of Music (April 2, 2012). Press release: "Longy School of Music Becomes a Part of Bard College". Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  2. The monumental structure was the work of the notable architectural firm of Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow. In 2004 the building was renamed Zabriskie House in honor of the Chair of the school's Board of Directors at the time, Dr. Adelaide W. Zabriskie, and her husband, Dr. John Zabriskie.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kahn, Joseph P. (7 March 2013). "Longy School of Music to disband nondegree programs". Boston Globe
  4. Richard Dyer, Longy School's Rosenbaum To Step Down, Boston Globe, December 9, 1999. Accessed via subscription 21 January 2008.
  5. Jeremy Eichler, Longy names president, Boston Globe, January 16, 2007. Accessed 21 January 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Geoff Edgers, "Cambridge music school cuts jobs, seeks partner", Boston Globe, April 1, 2010. Accessed 1 April 2010.
  7. National Labor Relations Board, Amended Complaint and Notice of Hearing. Accessed 9 November 2010.
  8. Brian P. Nanos, Hearing scheduled for Cambridge's Longy School of Music labor dispute, Cambridge Chronicle, October 25, 2010. Accessed 9 November 2010.
  9. United States District Court District of Massachusetts, Patti B. Saris, U.S.D.J,, Memorandum and Order, January 4, 2011. Accessed 9 January 2011.
  10. Brian P. Nanos, "Judge issues injunction against Longy School of Music, Cambridge Chronicle, January 11, 2011. Accessed 11 January 2011.
  11. Longy Faculty Union News, Vol. 2, No. 4, (March 25, 2011). "Union faculty vote unanimously to ratify contract"
  12. Eichler, Jeremy (12 September 2011). "After Longy-Bard merger, a music school peers into its future. Boston Globe
  13. Johnson, Reed (4 October 2011). "L.A. Phil, Bard, Longy launch El Sistema-based music initiative". Los Angeles Times
  14. Margaret Henderson Floyd, Architecture after Richardson-Regionalism Before Modernism: Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow in Boston and Pittsburgh, University of Chicago Press, 1993
  15. Richard Buell, A New Space in An Old Place At Longy's Pickman Concert Hall, Boston Globe, September 14, 1993. Accessed via subscription 21 January 2008.
  16. Longy School of Music performance calendar
  17. Longy School of Music Conservatory Programs
  18. Distinguished Alumni Awards Longy School of Music

External links

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