Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito is a pivotal centre dedicated to providing the highest artistic training, education, specialization, research and production in music. It also defines, creates and continually updates its offer of didactics to develop specialized, high-level professionals operating in the artistic-musical field
Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito in Parma is a Higher Education Institution which has been a pivotal centre of Italian musical life since 1888, when Giuseppe Verdi and Arrigo Boito themselves contributed directly towards its establishment.
Today The Conservatorio offers 1st and 2nd cycle Academic Courses and Specialization Courses covering every aspect of music education, both in the classical discipline from early to contemporary music, and in jazz and pop/rock areas.
Higher Education courses at the Conservatorio count about 600 students, with one-third coming from more than 30 foreign countries. The total number of students, counting the junior section, amounts to around 900. Its faculty counts about 150 professors. The artistic production at the Conservatorio counts more than 100 events per season.
The Conservatorio applies a policy of international relations aimed at developing understanding and exchange between different cultures. The institution has participated in the Erasmus Programme since 2002, and currently has international partnerships with about 80 higher education institutions all over the world.
Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito was one of the first conservatoires in Italy to offer formal education in the field of jazz (1993). Since then, the New Technologies and Musical Languages Department has developed to encompass the actual Jazz and Pop/Rock courses, which currently amount to about one-quarter of the total student population. The Jazz department is coordinated by conductor and double bass-player Professor Roberto Bonati, and the teaching staff consists of renowned artists and performers with long standing teaching experience.
The production activity of the jazz department gives students the opportunity to acquire the experience they need to face challenges in their future professional careers. The Conservatorio provides its students with a wide offer of master classes and workshops, with artists invited from all over Europe.
All students receive training in both jazz performance and composition, and are required to practice many different repertoires from traditional to contemporary styles, in small and large ensembles. They are encouraged to stimulate their awareness of different contemporary languages. The Conservatorio Jazz Orchestra ('Mefisto Ensemble'), formed by students enrolled in the institute's courses, realizes a number of projects every year exploring various repertoires and styles of both standard and original compositions.
The Jazz Department nurtures a close dialogue with the music scene in the city of Parma as students regularly take part as performers in different productions.
The Jazz Workshop partnership constitutes an important and rich extension of the activity of the Conservatorio in the jazz field. Its approach to orchestra-oriented jazz courses and the cooperation with the ParmaFrontiere festival find here a wider field of action on a European level. Thanks to the partnership with the festivals, students of the Conservatorio have the opportunity to carry out intense and engaging professional activity in the field of jazz orchestra, as instrumentalists, composers and conductors. Students experience a total immersion in the creative process, following closely the development of their ideas right from the initial proposal, through to the live performance with audiences in the different countries involved. Such variety and quality of stimuli - orchestra, students, professors and audiences from different countries and musical cultures - is otherwise difficult to achieve and maintain in such a short period of time within this particular field of music
Teaching also benefits from the results of these activities. Didactics is enriched through the experience developed with the intensive programs and the planned performances. Study plans and curricula of the Conservatorio will benefit from the programmed research on this subject carried out by the partner Institutions on the basis of the live experience developed and verified throughout The Jazz Worksop project.