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Tianjin Juilliard held its third commencement ceremony on Friday, May 24 at the Tianjin Juilliard Concert Hall, honoring 30 graduate students receiving Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School.

In addition to the conferral of the degrees, this year’s ceremony featured an address by world renowned conductor and Juilliard alumni Jaap van Zweden (‘80, violin), remarks from Juilliard leadership, and student performances.

The commencement ceremony was presided over by Wei He, CEO and artistic director of The Tianjin Juilliard School.  Joseph W. Polisi, Juilliard’s president emeritus and chief China officer, together with Changjun Xu, Chancellor of The Tianjin Juilliard School, witnessed the important milestone with honored guests and partners of the school. Juilliard President Damian Woetzel and Provost Adam Meyer also addressed the class of 2024 and congratulated the graduates. 

As graduates of The Tianjin Juilliard School, you now possess the tools to harness the power of music and channel it into your artistry, enriching the lives of others and leaving an indelible mark on the world. As you embark on the next phase of your musical journey, I urge you to embrace this responsibility with humility, joy, and conviction and to never lose sight of the profound impact that your music can have on our world.

Jaap van Zweden


At the ceremony, the Tianjin Juilliard School Prize was awarded to Hyunyoung Lee (MM’ 24, violin), recognizing her outstanding artistic achievements and academic excellence in all areas of endeavor. The Joseph W. Polisi Award was awarded to Yunbei Liu (MM’ 24, cello) for exemplifying the school's values of "artist as citizen" and is pictured here with the president emeritus at the post-ceremony party. 

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Dean Katherine Chu also presented the Dean’s List Award to six graduate students: Diego Acosta Diaz (MM ’24, flute), Pei Yin Xu (MM ’24, horn), Phan Thanh Binh (MM ’24, trumpet), Viktoriya Klyukina (MM ’24, flute), Ryan Marc Shaw (MM ’24, trombone), and Yunbei Liu in recognition of achieving the highest grade point average at The Tianjin Juilliard School.  


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Puleum Kim (MM '24, flute) and Tongxin Chen (MM '24, harp), performing selections from Suite en duo by Jean Cras. Photo: Twan Vision

The ceremony featured wonderful performances by graduates Puleum Kim (MM ’24, flute) and Tongxin Chen (MM ’24, harp) on Jean Cras’ Suite en duo, for flute and harp;  Hyunyoung Lee (MM ’24, violin) and Yan Li (MM ’24, piano) on Johannes Brahms’ Scherzo in C Minor, WoO 2, from “F-A-E” Sonata for violin and piano. Student representative speaker Diego Acosta Diaz delivered a speech on behalf of the graduates. 

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Left to right: Wei He; Diego Acosta Diaz (MM '24, flute); Changjun Xu. Photo: Twan Vision

We all work for the same purpose: excellence. However, in the words of Dr. Joseph W. Polisi, “excellence is a direction, not a place.” As we prepare for the next step in our professional career, I urge that we never forget what we learned at Tianjin Juilliard, bringing excellence to wherever we go and representing the finest of human values through the music we share with our audiences.

Diego Acosta Diaz (MM ’24, flute)

Graduate student speaker

We feel deeply honored to have been a part of your extraordinary journey which I often describe as a ‘transformative’ process. For a process to succeed, every element and aspect must align and move in the same direction. This includes your openness, determination, and enthusiasm, as well as the unconditional support from teachers, peers, families, and the school. I take pride in having witnessed your transformation from the moment you first arrived at Tianjin Juilliard to this very day.

Wei He

CEO and artistic director of The Tianjin Juilliard School