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Longy merging with Bard College

By Doug Most
Globe Staff / June 14, 2011

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Almost 100 years after it was founded by a famous oboist named Georges Longy, the Longy School of Music in Cambridge announced yesterday that it is merging with Bard College, a liberal arts school in upstate New York.

“The Longy School of Music of Bard College is excited about this compelling moment in the institution’s history,’’ Longy president Karen Zorn and Bard president Leon Botstein said in a joint statement.

Zorn added: “Longy had been looking for a partner for several years and found an ideal match in mission and institutional direction in Bard College.’’

The Globe reported last year that the two schools were talking. Those discussions began several months after a vote by teachers to unionize and as the school shed more than 20 percent of its teachers, many of whom had taught for decades.

Zorn said last year that the talks with Bard began after Longy finally balanced its $7 million budget, following several years of running a $1 million deficit.

Longy has a rich musical history. Among its notable alumni is composer Elliott Carter, whose pieces James Levine took great pleasure in conducting for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The school is a landmark just off Harvard Square that has balanced its conservatory training with a thriving community program that offers instruction to children and adults studying music nonprofessionally. It was founded by Longy in 1915.

Bard College is a private school founded in 1860 about 90 miles north of New York City.

Doug Most can be reached at dmost@globe.com.