Spanish superstar, songwriter, and producer Alejandro Sanz was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee College of Music at a career-spanning, sold-out concert performed by Berklee students, November 6th, 2013, in Boston. The award was presented by Berklee president Roger Brown; Berklee provost Larry Simpson; Latin music icon and Berklee alumnus Juan Luis Guerra; and Javier Limon, seven-time Latin Grammy winner and artistic director of Berklee’s Mediterranean Music Institute.
“There is always a note, a chord, a phrase waiting for you, to help you get beyond that moment where you were going to give up” said Alejandro during his speech, in which he also expressed deep appreciation for this recognition.
Sanz was recognized for “his significant contributions to music and society and the joy his music has brought to millions around the world,” said Berklee president Roger Brown. Past honorary doctorate recipients include Duke Ellington, Chucho Valdes, Juan Luis Guerra, Paco de Lucia, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Sting, Gloria Estefan, and Willie Nelson.
During the concert titled ALEJANDRO SANZ MEETS BERKLEE, a 40-piece student ensemble paid an emotional tribute to Sanz’s musical legacy, with Sanz joining them on piano to perform his songs “Enséñame Tus Manos,” “Para Que Me Quieras,” “Hay Un Universo De Pequeñas Cosas,” “Me Iré,” and “Corazón Partio.” The concert was produced by bass professor Oscar Stagnaro, and directed by Matthew Nicholl, chair of the college’s Contemporary Writing and Production Department, and executive director of the Mediterranean Music Institute at Berklee.
In the day prior to the concert, Berklee students were treated to a master class taught by Sanz wherein he shared his passion for music and answered questions posed by the students. Earlier this year, in a course taught by Javier Limon, Berklee students created a viral video for Sanz’s hit, “La Música No Se Toca.” Filmed in Boston and at Berklee’s international campus in Valencia, Spain, the video features more than 60 students and alumni representing 20 nationalities.
Alejandro Sanz has won a total of 16 Latin Grammy Awards and three Grammy Awards and is one of the leading nominees at this year’s event, with his album La Música No Se Toca receiving nods in five categories: Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Producer of the Year. La Música No Se Toca is one of the most successful albums of 2012-2013, and resided in the Top l0 of Billboard’s Top Latin Albums for an astounding 44 weeks.