Visiting Juilliard students and Tianjin Juilliard graduate students rehearse with the Shanghai Quartet. All health and safety protocols were followed at the time this photo was taken in Tianjin, China, where COVID restrictions are easing.
"And now we are at Juilliard again—a different place that is thousands of miles away and yet so familiar."
In January, the Tianjin Juilliard School opened its doors to 28 Juilliard students, including 10 freshmen. This new, temporary program was created by both campuses for New York students who are residents of China and cannot come to New York due to travel restrictions. It gives them an opportunity to experience campus life and participate in ensemble work in Tianjin. The visiting students are continuing their academic classes and private lessons with their New York teachers and plan to come to the New York campus once international travel again becomes possible.
The students arrived on January 4 and, over the course of that day’s orientation programs and welcome dinner, they learned about the school and about former Juilliard president Joseph Polisi’s vision of one school, two campuses. The students were quickly assigned to chamber groups and orchestral majors received their seats and music for upcoming rehearsals and concerts. A few of the students talked about their first day in Tianjin.
I felt a strong sense of familiarity and warmth as soon as I stepped into the Tianjin Juilliard campus. The last time I had such a feeling of community traces back to February, when I was conducting the Spring Overture in the Juilliard lobby in New York for the Lunar New Year celebration. And now we are at Juilliard again—a different place that is thousands of miles away and yet so familiar. From the triangle-shaped lounge with stairs to the glassy outline, the Juilliard elements shine in every little corner and detail. And more importantly, it’s the idea behind all this—the Juilliard value—that makes me feel so inspired. No matter how many difficulties we have been through in 2020, I believe that, we can create one musical miracle after another in 2021 and for many years to come.—second-year master’s student Junhui Chen (’15, piano)
Since the start of this pandemic, going back to school has become everybody’s eagerness, and I am truly grateful that Juilliard gave us this fabulous opportunity to study in the magnificent Tianjin Juilliard campus and its top-level facilities. The first week has just been perfect. I met a lot of super-talented young musicians and got to play chamber music and orchestra with them, which I would never thought possible during this period.—first-year master’s clarinetist Yan Liu
I was restless and needed a new impetus for my talent, and here I found the right environment. I deem it an honor to join the Tianjin community!—first-year pianist Fangzhou Ye
I am very lucky to participate in the winter course at Tianjin Juilliard and was excited when I arrived. I missed school so much—it had been too long not sitting in classrooms, fighting for practice rooms, and chatting with schoolmates. The program of Juilliard—one school, two campuses—linked people from all around the world, and the most important thing is, it grounded my heart.—third-year pianist Vicky Lam
To study in the Tianjin Juilliard campus is truly a pleasure and honor. The building has world-class design and artistry; in its essence, it inherited the Juilliard spirit very well.—third-year pianist Ju Xiaofu
As a freshman, I hadn’t had the chance to study in New York yet because of the pandemic, but the TJ campus has provided a community for us. Thanks to everyone who’s working and supporting this project! I am looking forward to making some more music.—first-year percussionist Judy Hu
This article was originally published by the Juilliard Journal on January 12.