Juilliard Opening Branch in China

September 28, 2015
The school in the port city of Tianjin is expected to open in 2018 and will offer U.S.-accredited master of music degrees

The Juilliard School is teaming up with Chinese partners to open a branch in Tianjin, a busy port city in northern China.

The Tianjin Juilliard School is expected to open in 2018 and will offer U.S.-accredited master of music degrees in orchestral studies, chamber music and collaborative piano. The school will have its own permanent faculty; guest artists from the New York campus will also teach there.

The plans, which include a building designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, were announced Monday, during a visit to Juilliard's New York campus by Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan, a singer and the wife of President Xi Jinping.

In recent years, the renowned performing arts conservatory has been ramping up its global profile. Earlier this year it released its "Juilliard Opens Studios" app, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at rehearsals and training at the school. It is also developing arts education curricula for K-12 students at some private schools in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

The Tianjin venture, first announced in 2012, is intended to deepen Chinese musicians' orchestral training and also serve as a cultural hub for the city. The school is a joint project with the Tianjin Conservatory of Music, the Tianjin Binhai New Area CBD Administrative Commission and the Tianjin Innovative Finance Investment Company, a state-owned entity.

Earlier this month, the Tianjin school's graduate degree program was granted preliminary approval from China's Ministry of Education, making it the first performing-arts institution in China to offer a U.S.-accredited master's degree, according to Juilliard. It is also expected to offer pre-college and instrumental training programs, as well as adult education, exhibitions and public performances.

The Wall Street Journal
By Jennifer Smith
Photo by Cassandra Giraldo