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Berklee Comes to NYC with Power Station Renovation
Berklee Performing Arts is coming to New York City. BerkleeNYC is planning a state of the art recording and video production facility for music, theater, television, and film industries in the city. The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, The Economic Development Corporation along with Berklee Trustee Pete Muller will renovate the historic Power Station Studios at 53rd Street.
"Renovating this amazing, historic music venue is a powerful nod to New York City as a continuing center for innovative art, culture, and creativity. I commend Berklee and Trustee Pete Muller for their investments, their vision, and for the public programming space that will benefit many budding and future New York recording artists," said Mayor de Blasio.
The Power Station at Berklee is able to accommodate a full orchestra or live Broadway cast album recording. Nurturing musicians, engaging the community, expanding the vision of Berklee while keeping the original owner visionary Tony Bongiovi in mind, the rechristening of the space will revert the current Avatar Studio name and continue to operate the studio commercially.
"I am thrilled that the Power Station name is returning to the original studios in New York City," said former owner Bongiovi.
Bongiovi is responsible for converting the once Con Edison power plant space into an acoustic marvel that has been recognized by leaders in the industry. Chieko and Kirk Imamura have owned and operated the space as Avatar Studios since 1996. The Imamura's influence included building additional studios, adding modern digital audio capabilities, and hosting recording artists like Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, Bruno Mars, and Berklee alumni John Mayer '98, Diana Krall '83, and Esperanza Spalding '05. Grammy winning recordings have come out of the space in the last twenty years of the Imamura's leadership.
Free and tuition based education programs, performances, and resources for musicians as well as a virtual reality/augmented reality studio are to be included in the creative space offerings.
"The Power Station is an iconic, creative hub of music," said Berklee President Roger H. Brown. "So many influential recordings have been made there and it puts us at the nexus of the vital music, theater, and dance communities of New York City. We intend both to re-imagine the recording studio of the future and add a powerful educational program to support our many Berklee alumni who intend to live, work, and create in New York."