Juilliard and Three Partners Announce Framework Agreement for Tianjin Institute in China

Start Date

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Press Release Images

In photo (from left to right): TIFI's Chairman Li Bo, Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi, Tianjin Conservatory of Music President Xu Changjun, Tianjin Municipal Education Commission Director Jim Runcheng
In photo (from left to right): TIFI's Chairman Li Bo, Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi, Tianjin Conservatory of Music President Xu Changjun, Tianjin Municipal Education Commission Director Jim Runcheng


The Juilliard School (“Juilliard”), the Tianjin Innovative Finance Investment Company (“TIFI”), the Tianjin Municipal Education Commission, and the Tianjin Conservatory of Music today jointly announced the signing of a framework agreement outlining steps that would establish an educational institute operated by Juilliard in the Yujiapu financial district of Tianjin City, People’s Republic of China, 75 miles southeast of Beijing.

The framework agreement affirms their shared belief in the far-reaching benefits of educational and artistic excellence, and in the critical role that first-rate performing arts institutions contribute to developing cultural and civic life in world-class cities. The framework agreement includes provisions for a feasibility study, overseen by Juilliard on behalf of all parties, which was launched on June 1, 2012, and will fully explore the regulatory, operational, and financial aspects of establishing the Institute.

With its initial focus on classical music education and performance, the Institute would mark Juilliard’s first expansion beyond its New York City campus, and is expected to be the School’s only such institute in East Asia. Since its founding in 1905, Juilliard has developed an outstanding record of educational achievement, refining the talents of the world’s most influential artists in classical music, opera, jazz, dance and acting, including Van Cliburn, Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Itzhak Perlman, Leonard Slatkin, Kevin Spacey, Paul Taylor, Pinchas Zukerman, and numerous others.

During the past 10 years, an increasing number of talented Chinese students have been admitted to study at Juilliard in New York. The Institute in Tianjin would expand access to Juilliard education by bringing together the region’s most promising young musicians with internationally renowned performers from Juilliard’s network and would contribute to Tianjin’s civic life and rich history of cultural and artistic achievement. The Institute would be centrally located amid the large pool of emerging artistic talent in China and broader East Asia. The Institute would also serve as the only site in the region where prospective students could audition for admission to Juilliard in New York.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Juilliard President Dr. Joseph W. Polisi said, “We are delighted to take this step forward in what we hope will lead to the establishment of the Institute in Tianjin. We envision the Institute will be an elite center for performing arts education serving all of East Asia, a destination for all performing artists worldwide, and a hub for all of Juilliard’s activity in this region. Juilliard is very fortunate to be working with excellent partners in Tianjin who share our vision of high quality performing arts education. We look forward to completing the necessary operational, regulatory, and financial framework with our partners – TIFI, the Tianjin Municipal Education Commission, and the Tianjin Conservatory of Music –  to make this Institute a success.”

The exact programs to be offered at the Institute will be determined during the feasibility study, but Juilliard expects to create non-accredited music programs at the pre-college level (ages 8 – 18), as well as specialized pre-professional training for conservatory graduates.  Future expansion into other educational and artistic initiatives at the Institute is also anticipated.  Juilliard will develop the faculty, curriculum, and administration of the Institute to the same high standards that it holds for its world- famous New York City campus, and draw upon its hallmark strengths of artistic collaboration and frequent public performances to bring the Institute to a world-class level in Yujiapu.

Tianjin Executive Vice Mayor Cui Jindu commented, “We are delighted that Tianjin will play an important role in the development of music education for China, drawing upon international talent from the region.  Music has the unique role in society of bringing people together across cultures and languages, and we believe this partnership will help us reach this goal.  Juilliard is an excellent partner as we work to make Tianjin a model for global cities aspiring to incorporate music and culture into civic life.”

TIFI Board Chairman Mr. Li Bo said, “We are honored to collaborate with The Juilliard School to provide world-class performing arts education for Tianjin, China and East Asia. The Yujiapu financial district will be the hub of financial services for the Binhai New Area in Tianjin.  By selecting Yujiapu as its first overseas institute, Juilliard is supporting and contributing to the good momentum of development in Yujiapu, Tianjin.”

Dr. Christopher Mossey, Vice President for Global Initiatives at Juilliard, will oversee the seven-month feasibility study with significant support and cooperation from TIFI, the Tianjin Municipal Education Commission and the Tianjin Conservatory of Music. During that time period, the parties also will actively explore potential sources of government, corporate, and private financial support.



The Juilliard School

Christopher Mossey

Tel:      212.799.5000

Brunswick Group

Josh Gartner

Tel:       +8610 5960-8600

Email:   Juilliard@brunswickgroup.com


Founded in 1905 in New York City, The Juilliard School provides the highest caliber of artistic education for gifted musicians, dancers, and actors from around the world, so that they may achieve their fullest potential as artists, leaders, and global citizens.  The School offers instruction at the pre-college, undergraduate and graduate levels.  Juilliard alumni have collectively won more than 105 Grammy Awards, 63 Tony Awards, 47 Emmy Awards, 26 Bessie Awards, 24 Academy Awards, 16 Pulitzer Prizes, and 12 National Medals for the Arts.  The student body comes from approximately 40 countries outside of the United States each season. More than 10% of the college and pre-college student body are from greater China. There are currently some 300 Chinese alumni of Juilliard worldwide. The Juilliard Orchestra has toured to the People’s Republic of China twice, the first time in 1987. In 2008, the orchestra returned, led by Zhang Xian, with six performances at the National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing), the Shanghai Grand Theater, and the Suzhou Performing Arts Center.

Juilliard Global was established to identify and realize long-term educational and performance programs in other parts of the world. As part of this initiative, Juilliard has ongoing projects in Mexico and Brazil, but the institute envisioned in Yujiapu will be Juilliard Global’s most extensive, multi-faceted project.



Tianjin Innovative Finance Investment Co., Ltd. (TIFI) was approved by the Municipal Government of Tianjin and established on September 28, 2008. The company has a registered capital of 6 billion RMB. Currently, its total capital is over 30 billion RMB.

TIFI is the urban operator of Yujiapu Financial District in Binhai New Area. Its responsibilities include the overall planning, development, construction, and investment activities for Yujiapu Financial District. The company is developing Yujiapu according to the overall planning schedule of the Tianjin Municipal Government and the Binhai New Area government.

Yujiapu Financial District occupies 3.86 square kilometers, and the planned construction area is 9.5 million square meters.  The goal is to build the area into a leading example in China of a world-class, service-oriented and complete business pilot area that successfully capitalizes on market opportunities, traditional and modern finance, and access to educational training.

TIFI’s chief mission as a government agency is to lead a team from both home and abroad, to be inclusive and open to international financial institutions, to establish a company that combines attractiveness to business with guided investment, to explore compound paths of development, and to insist upon expert management and legal compliance within its operations. TIFI strives to become a large, state-owned, modern corporation with superior governance, a clear focus on its business priorities, adequate capitalization, and sustainable development.



The Tianjin Municipal Education Commission is an important component of the Tianjin Municipal government. Its main tasks are to enforce education laws, policies, and regulations; to research and enact the strategy and planning of education development in Tianjin; to enact policies concerning the reform of the education system and the key points, structure, and speed of education development; and to research the drafting of local laws, regulations, and policies.

As the division in charge of education in Tianjin, the Tianjin Municipal Education Commission also oversees higher education and higher vocational education; coordinates management and provides guidance to secondary education and all levels below that; organizes and guides adult education; coordinates management of privately-run education institutions, oversees joint education collaboration efforts, and international exchange activities within the education system.  It is also in charge of citywide teaching personnel, and it provides guidance in building talent pools in the education system and managing enrollment.


The Tianjin Conservatory of Music (TJCM) was founded in 1958 after its predecessor institution, the Central Conservatory of Music, relocated to Beijing from Tianjin. Over the past half century, TJCM has become an important higher arts education institution in Northern China that nurtures talents in music, dance, drama, film, and television.

TJCM offers eleven undergraduate degrees, three master’s degrees, and national level specialty degrees across 13 departments: musicology, composition, vocal art, folk vocal art, traditional musical instruments, woodwind, piano, accordion, music education, arts management, contemporary music, drama, and film and television. It has established a model for comprehensive talent training in the arts with a multi-level approach: professional, amateur, and distance learning. Currently, there are 2,898 students enrolled in undergraduate studies and 316 in graduate studies. The student body includes 15 overseas students, 65 adult education students, and 765 students at the middle school attached to the Conservatory.

TJCM plays an active role in international music exchange activities, sponsoring the annual May Music Festival, music competitions, and numerous other festivals focusing on musicological and academic subjects. The conservatory regularly hosts leading musicians in master classes, and in recent years has welcomed to its campus composers Chen Yi, Zhou Long, and Chen Qigang; cellist Yo-Yo Ma; and Yoheved Kaplinsky, Chair of The Juilliard School’s piano department and Artistic Director of Juilliard’s Pre-College Division.