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Tianjin Juilliard Brings Melodies to More Audiences


Music lovers in Shanghai will be able to attend more live music performances from the students and faculty of the Tianjin Juilliard School. On May 26, a chamber concert at Zikawei Library announced the continual communications between the prestigious music institute and Xuhui district in Shanghai.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of Tianjin Juilliard played works composed by Chopin, Ravel, Brahms and Messiaen in the basilica lobby of the library.

The concert marked the beginning of the long-term collaboration between Tianjin Juilliard and Xuhui district. “In the coming music season, Tianjin Juilliard will present colorful performances in different art spaces around Xuhui district,” says He Wei, CEO and artistic director of the Tianjin Juilliard School, the only overseas campus of the renowned Juilliard School at Lincoln Center, New York, in the United States.

Juilliard415, the school’s principal period-instrument ensemble, is expected to give an innovative performance in Shanghai later this year, he says.

Joseph W. Polisi, president emeritus and chief China officer of the Juilliard School, led the Juilliard School in New York for 34 years and after leaving office in 2018, he assumed the role of CEO of Tianjin Juilliard, overseeing and guiding various aspects of the school’s development ever since.

Last year he was given the Lifetime Honorary Award of the inaugural Orchid Envoy, an international cultural accolade established by the China Foreign Languages Bureau, and he donated the 300,000 yuan ($42,274) prize money to establish a fund to support student and faculty activities at Tianjin Juilliard. “I felt it was important that this award be connected to the Tianjin Juilliard School … and we are actively fundraising now for student and faculty support, special programs and more. I thought this gift could be very helpful,” he says.

Polisi strongly believes in artists’ activities in the community and involvement with society. During the 34 years he worked as president of the Juilliard School in New York, he started programs that sent students to play in hospitals, nursing homes and hospices. “I realized that it benefits the audiences in these nontraditional venues and the positive impact it has on the students. It allows them to perform outside their comfort zone and see how these audiences are enriched by their music. This allows our students to have a sense of communication, which is ultimately what any performer needs.”

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