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Richard Ortner collection, 1988-2018

Identifier: BCB-016

Scope and Contents

Materials predominantly comprise copies of speeches and interviews, assorted marketing materials, and records documenting ther merger between the Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. The collection also contains a small number of photographs and other biographical material.


  • 1988-2016

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research by appointment, with the exception of Series 3 (Berklee merger files), which is restricted except to executive officers or by special permission by the Associate Director of the Archives. Advance notice is required for access because materials are stored offsite. Use of audiovisual materials may require production of listening or viewing copies.

Biographical / Historical

Music administrator Richard Ortner (1948-2019) was raised in Great Neck, New York. Trained in classical piano, he studied architecture at Cooper Union before to New York University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Music in 1970. That same year, he began ushering at Carnegie Hall, which led to a job as a guide during the 1973 Tanglewood Music Festival season, after which he was hired as the Assistant to the Administrator, and later Administrator, of the Berkshire Music Center (now Tanglewood Music Center). In 1998, he left Tanglewood to become President of the Boston Conservatory, a position he held until his retirement in 2017. During his tenure as president, he expanded the Conservatory faculty and facilitated its 31 Hemenway renovation and 132 Ipswich purchase. Ortner also co-orchestrated the 2016 merger between the Conservatory and Berklee College of Music.


3 boxes

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The majority of materials in this collection were held in multiple offices of the Conservatory and transferred to the archives upon its creation in 2015.

Acquisition History

Compiled from materials previously housed in the Albert Alphin Library and materials donated from the President's and Development offices. Additional material (Series 4) were given by Ortner's estate and received from the Executive Director of the Conservatory's office in 2021 and 2022.


2022: Three (3) photos of Richard Ortner were transferred to the Archives from the Executive Director of the Conservatory's office, added to Series 4: Other Materials.

2021: Documents indentified among materials gifted by the Ortner estate, plus one framed item from the Executive Director's office, transferred to the Archives, added to Series 4: Other Materials.

Processing Information

Processed by Brendan Higgins, May 2016-June 2019; prepared for ArchivesSpace by Ashley Gray and Thomas Wandborg, 2021.

Richard Ortner collection, 1988-2018
Under Revision
Brendan Higgins; prepared for ArchivesSpace by Ashley Gray and Thomas Wandborg, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Berklee Archives Repository

Berklee College of Music
1140 Boylston St
Boston MA 02215 USA