Juil­liard School now ex­pected in China in 2019

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - By LUOWANGSHU luowangshu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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