The American Conservatory of Music (ACM) was a major American school of music founded in Chicago in 1886 by John James Hattstaedt (1851–1931). The conservatory was incorporated as an Illinois non-profit corporation. It developed the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and had numerous student recitals. The oldest private degree-granting music school in the Midwest, it was located in Chicago until 1991.
That year, 1991, its board of trustees—chaired by Frederic Wilbur Hickman (born 1927)—voted to close the institution, file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, liquidate the assets, and dissolve the corporation. The conservatory closed at the end of the semester, in May 1991.An organization based in Hammond, Indiana, uses the name "American Conservatory of Music" and identifies as the reorganized continuation of the Chicago institution. It also has a base in Belize.
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