Wei He Appointed as New CEO and Artistic Director; Katherine Chu Named Dean
Alexander Brose to Step Down From Post as CEO at End of Academic Year; Joins Tianjin Juilliard Advisory Council
New York, USA and Tianjin, China—The Juilliard School has named current artistic director and dean Wei He as its next CEO. Dean He assumes the post at the close of the 2021-22 academic year, when current executive director and CEO Alexander Brose steps down. Brose is returning to North America to be with his family. Katherine Chu, who currently chairs The Tianjin Juilliard School’s Collaborative Piano department and has been serving as the interim associate dean for academic and student affairs, will become dean, stepping into a role similar to the one He has held since the opening of the school.
In his new role, He will oversee Juilliard’s 300-strong community of staff, faculty, and students in Tianjin, leading the joint-venture institution in bringing innovative approaches to music education throughout the region, and strengthening Juilliard’s global presence in Asia. He will continue serving as artistic director and on the school’s violin and chamber music faculty on a limited basis.
Chu, a distinguished vocal coach, pianist, educator, and administrator both in the U.S. and China, has served on the faculty of Tianjin Juilliard since the school’s inception. As dean, she will play a key role in institutional relations, faculty management, overseeing academic and student affairs, and leading performance activities and operations. She assumes her new role on July 1.
Damian Woetzel, president of Juilliard, said, “Alex Brose and Wei He have brought Juilliard’s pre-eminent training and teaching to Tianjin and the region. On behalf of Juilliard, I sincerely thank Alex for his years of service in developing The Tianjin Juilliard School and for paving the way towards an even brighter future for our campus in Tianjin. I am also delighted that Wei and Katherine Chu will continue to lead the school to greater heights through strengthening our artistic partnerships in the region, spearheading lifelong learning initiatives through our educational programs, and broadening access to Juilliard’s rich tradition of performing arts education in Asia.”
Joseph W. Polisi, president emeritus and chief China officer of Juilliard, said, “I would like to congratulate Wei and Katherine on their new leadership roles as The Tianjin Juilliard School heads into its next phase of development and growth. I look forward to reaching many new milestones together. As a team, Alex and Wei have been critical in ensuring the success of our new campus in Tianjin and for forging the unique Juilliard spirit of excellence and collaboration within the vibrant community there. While we understand and respect Alex’s decision to step away and reunite with his family, we will deeply miss his leadership and his unwavering commitment to Tianjin Juilliard.”
Alexander Brose said, “It has been the honor of a lifetime helping to build the community and culture of The Tianjin Juilliard School. Despite opening during a global pandemic, the school is thriving and achieving exactly what we hoped to accomplish as Juilliard’s branch campus. As sad as it is to say goodbye, I look forward to rejoining my family in the U.S., and I couldn’t be happier that my esteemed colleagues Wei and Katherine will be leading the organization. I look forward to congratulating our first graduating class in person this spring and joining the Tianjin Juilliard Advisory Council in support of this remarkable institution.”
Wei He said, “It has been an extraordinary journey to work with Alex on this visionary institution which bridges cultures through music. I am extremely honored to lead Tianjin Juilliard into its next phase together with Katherine as the dean. I am excited to continue building artistic collaboration, performance outreach, community engagement as well as lifelong learning initiatives.”
Both Brose and He were appointed in January 2017 as the school’s first executive director and CEO and artistic director and dean, respectively. Assuming their posts in China prior to the official opening of the school, they were charged with identifying Tianjin Juilliard’s new administration and world-class faculty, overseeing the construction of the state-of-the-art campus designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, and establishing the artistic direction and curriculum for its programs. Over five years, Brose and He firmly established the school’s footprint in China, strengthened its ties with peer institutions worldwide, launched a fundraising program, and fostered a culture of artistic excellence in the Juilliard tradition.
The launch of The Tianjin Juilliard School marked a historic moment for Juilliard's presence in Asia. Since opening its doors in 2019 to the first cohort of Pre-College students, the school has also welcomed a diverse community of college students and faculty from across China and around the world, launched two flagship music festivals, presented over 120 performances in Tianjin and on tour throughout East Asia, and created a series of engagement initiatives in the local community. Hailing from 11 countries, the international graduate student body participate in the Tianjin Juilliard Orchestra, the Tianjin Juilliard String Orchestra, and other mixed ensembles and chamber groups. Tianjin Juilliard graduate students collaborate and perform alongside resident faculty, visiting faculty from Juilliard in New York, world renowned conductors, and guest soloists. The members of Tianjin Juilliard’s inaugural graduate studies class will receive their Juilliard degrees in May 2022.