Juilliard’s first overseas campus to open to students in the fall of 2019 in Tianjin
Sound of music
Published: Nov 18, 2018 06:28 PM

Artist rendition of the Tianjin Juilliard School Photo: Courtesy of Tianjin Juilliard

He Wei (left) and Alexander Brose Photo: Courtesy of Tianjin Juilliard

Young Chinese music talents will now be able to study at the world's top music school Juilliard without needing to head to New York as the renowned center for the music arts has established its first overseas campus in Tianjin. From November 15 through to February 1, 2019, the Tianjin Juilliard School will be accepting applications and auditions from students aging 8-18 for its first Saturday Pre-college program, Alexander Brose, executive director and CEO of the school, said on Wednesday in Beijing.

"Besides Chinese students, the new school will see a lot of opportunities to attract students from countries from the One Belt and One Road area and students from Central Asia and Eastern Europe to come to Tianjin," he told the Global Times on Wednesday. He even joked that in the future, young Chinese students will fly from Urumqi in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to Tianjin for the Saturday program just like ambitious young musicians in the US would fly coast to coast from California to New York to attend weekly classes. 

Juilliard is managing the school in partnership with the Tianjin Conservatory of Music, the Tianjin Binhai New Area Administrative Commission and the Tianjin Innovative Finance Investment Company. The announcement of the new school, made at a ceremony attended by China's First Lady Peng Liyuan in 2015, was great news for students in China as well as those throughout Asia.

The first performing arts institution in China to offer a US-accredited Master of Music degree, the Tianjin Juilliard School will offer programs for orchestral studies, chamber music and collaborative piano as well as a pre-college program, instrumental training programs, adult education and public performances.

According to He Wei, the school's artistic director and dean, the master's program will begin accepting applications in the fall of 2019 and require two years of full-time study.

"Two of three majors, orchestral studies and chamber music, are new and will be offered only at the Tianjin campus. We have carefully selected courses for the three majors based on the common education requirements in China and the US. The requirement the three majors have in common is studying instrumental ensemble. China has many outstanding solo instrument performers, so what they may need most is experience working with other musicians," He explained.

"We hope to offer them more ways to learn and more choices. After all, not everyone can become an artist, and not all artists can finally become [the famed Chinese pianist] Langlang," he added.

For the pre-college program, He hopes to maintain the "original high quality of Juilliard education."

"We anticipate that 200 students will enroll in the program over the next three to four years," He said.

"The number of graduate students will be kept to roughly the same amount."