Music transcends boundaries, says Juilliard's president emeritus

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 10, 2023
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Joseph W. Polisi, president emeritus and chief China officer of the Juilliard School in the United States, was awarded the Lifetime Honorary Prize at China's inaugural Orchid Awards on Friday.

Music transcends national boundaries to connect people from different backgrounds, said Polisi, who is also chairman of the board of directors of the Tianjin Juilliard School.

Selection for the Orchid Awards started last August, aiming to honor non-Chinese nationals and organizations around the world that have made significant contributions to cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world, and to promote mutual learning between Chinese and other civilizations.

"It's only with communication and understanding of each other that we're going to make progress," Polisi said. "Instead of dwelling on the negative, let's dwell on the positive."

Located in the Binhai New Area of north China's Tianjin Municipality, the Tianjin Juilliard School is the first and so far the only branch campus of the Juilliard School in the world, with music students enrolled from all over the world.

"We are seeing an increase in the number of applications, especially in the number of enrolled students from outside of China," Polisi said in an interview with Xinhua.

Strengthening artistic and cultural exchanges is one of the basic goals of the Tianjin Juilliard School. "We emphasize the interchanges with major cities around China and with countries all around the world," Polisi said.

He mentioned an orchestral symposium in May to which many young artists from various conservatories in China and other countries had been invited to rehearse and perform.

"Students didn't necessarily speak English or speak Chinese, but as soon as they started playing together, they understood each other," he said. "It's a wonderful and magical connection."

Polisi said he plans to give the award money to the Tianjin Juilliard School for use in special projects, such as inviting international teachers to the school and launching exchange concerts.

"So, already, I think that the school has created the bridge, and that bridge will be used over and over again," he said. 

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