Juilliard School now expected in China in 2019
The first overseas campus of a prominent classical music institution, the Juilliard School, will open in Tianjin in the fall of 2019, the school’s president said recently in Beijing.
The campus was earlier expected to open in 2018.
“We want to do everything very carefully. This is the best decision for all parties,” school president Joseph Polisi says of the delay.
The long-expected school will bring “authentic” Juilliard to Tianjin, about 40 minutes by high-speed train from Beijing.
“What we will use (in Tianjin) is the approach that we have in New York, which may be a little different from China’s conservatories. We are interested in the students’ growth holistically, not only as young artists but also as young adults,” Polisi says, adding that the school will provide programs that go beyond arts, including entrepreneurship and community outreach programs.
“I want to emphasize my belief that artists of the 21st century must rededicate themselves to a broader professional agenda that goes beyond what was expected of them in an earlier time.”
Juilliard’s violin student Jennifer Liu, who performs at a community children’s hospital, says playing there is one of the greatest experiences she gets in school.
“My quartet and I were so shocked to see that the children (in the hospital) were so disabled that they were not even able to move. We prepared a short piece by Mozart, and I noticed that one of the boys was moving suddenly. Later, his mother came up and told us that this was the first time he had moved in four weeks. I was very touched,” she says.
“Music, without words, is so strong,” she says, adding that the performance program allows her to have a deeper understanding that music is a valuable tool to express feelings and engage with the community.
Founded in New York in 1905, Juilliard has trained some of the world’s leading artists, including Van Cliburn, Renee Fleming and Yo-YoMa.
Juilliard’s links with China go back to the 1920s when it recruited its first Chinese student.
When Polisi became the school’s president in 1984, there were very few Chinese students enrolled. But now, Chinese students are the largest international student body in Juilliard, accounting for about 30 percent of its international intake.
The tie-up between Juilliard and Tianjin was announced by Polisi when China’s first lady, Peng Liyuan, visited the school on Sept 28, during a weeklong visit to the United States with her husband, President Xi Jinping.
The school in Tianjin will offer US-accredited master’s degrees in orchestral performance, chamber music performance and collaborative piano.
The accredited degree program will recruit 200 students from all over the world. Classes will be taught in English, and the academic standard will be the same as the school in New York.
“A Juilliard education is a little different from what Chinese conservatories offer now and the school will bring its beliefs and practices to Tianjin,” says Polisi.
Students of the Juilliard School perform in Beijing last month.