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Producer and Engineer Al Schmitt Awarded Berklee Honorary Doctorate At Capitol Records in Los Angeles
(Published: September 12, 2014)

Legendary producer and engineer Al Schmitt was presented with a Berklee honorary doctor of music degree by the college's president Roger H. Brown last night at a ceremony at Capitol Records' famed Studio A in Los Angeles. The event also commemorated the 25th anniversary of Berklee Today - the college's alumni magazine.

The degree was awarded in recognition of Schmitt's inspiring musical achievements, which include 22 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards and a Grammy Trustees Lifetime Achievement. He has worked on 160 gold and platinum selling albums by artists including Paul McCartney, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Norah Jones, Chick Corea, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Madonna, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Herbie Hancock, and many others.

"I'm still in awe about this. My family knows how important this honor is to me," said Schmitt in his acceptance remarks. "I never got to go to college. I am blessed to have been able to work with so many great artists and on so many great projects. It means a lot to me to get this honor from the greatest music school on the planet, and I thank you."

"Over the course of a spectacular and lengthy career, Al Schmitt has worked with some of the greatest musical icons from the 1950s to the present as an engineer, producer, and label executive," said President Brown. "A number of classic albums such as George Benson's Breezin', Steely Dan's Aja, Natalie Cole's Unforgettable, or Diana Krall's When I Look in Your Eyes, would not have been the same without Al's incredible ears and musical sensibilities."

Schmitt joins the ranks of such esteemed Berklee's honorary doctorate recipients as Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Page, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, Sting, Juan Luis Guerra, David Bowie, George Martin, Bonnie Raitt, George Clinton, Patti Labelle, and Carole King.

Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than 65 years, the college has evolved to reflect the current state of the music industry, leading the way with baccalaureate studies in performance, music business/management, songwriting, music therapy, film scoring, and more. With a focus on global learning, Berklee in Valencia, a new campus in Spain, is hosting the college's first graduate programs, while Berklee Online serves distance learners worldwide with extension classes and degree-granting programs. The Berklee City Music Network provides after-school programming for underserved teens in 45 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. With a student body representing nearly 100 countries and alumni and faculty that have won more than 310 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today-and tomorrow.

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