Dean of The Tianjin Juilliard School

Katherine Chu became dean of The Tianjin Juilliard School in July 2022.

Chu is an American pianist, vocal coach, and artistic consultant. She joined The Tianjin Juilliard School administration in 2020 and served as chair of collaborative piano; interim Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs; and resident faculty for collaborative piano in vocal repertoire.

After working as an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera from 1996 to 2006, she took on the role of musical assistant to Seiji Ozawa and chorus master for the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan. She served as head of musical preparation at the Teatro Municipal de la Opera in Santiago, Chile, and was coach, répétiteur, and assistant conductor for the Salzburg Festival, the Spoleto Festival, Buenos Aires Lirica, and the Philharmonia of Taiwan.

As East Asia came to embrace classical music, Chu pioneered and established an international standard and culture in coaching and musical preparation in China. As Director of Music Administration at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing, she oversaw all musical activities for the opera productions, recruited international guest coaches, music staff, and singers’ corps, and was a consultant for artistic planning and casting. Chu went on to become the founding Executive Director for the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra. She serves as the Music Director at the iSING International Young Artists Festival in China and New York.

Chu taught at the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy, the Renata Scotto Opera Academy, the Juilliard Opera Centre, and lectured at Yale University. She gave master classes at the North Carolina School of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts, Tokyo Music College, Shanghai Conservatory, and Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Chu’s book, Singing in Mandarin—the first definitive text on the subject of Chinese lyric diction and vocal literature—was published in 2020 by Rowman and Littlefield Press.

As an artistic consultant, Chu worked on the chamber opera, Poet Li Bai, for Central City Opera, Colorado, and Shanghai Opera. She was a key liaison and interpreter between the composer, BMG Ricordi and Shanghai Opera, and provided the musical preparation for the opera’s premieres in the United States, Hong Kong and Italy. She managed a scholarship program for talented Vietnamese classical musicians from 2006 to 2016. Chu served as the artistic advisor to the Louis-Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy Group in the Asia-Pacific region, for whom she oversaw their Hennessy Concert Series in Hanoi for 18 seasons, and coordinated “Save the Children” galas in Japan and Cambodia.

Born in Taiwan to Sino-Vietnamese parents, Chu is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program. She completed the Merola Opera Program and a fellowship at the Tanglewood Festival. She holds a BM from Temple University, Philadelphia, and a MM from the Manhattan School of Music.