Office of the
President

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Damian Woetzel

Damian Woetzel is the seventh president of The Juilliard School where he is championing an institutional focus on creativity and equity as essential to excellence. Since retiring in 2008 from a 20-year career as a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, Woetzel has taken on multiple roles in arts leadership, including artistic director of the Vail Dance Festival since 2007 and director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program (2011-18). As an independent director, choreographer, and producer, his recent projects include DEMO at the Kennedy Center; Spaces by Wynton Marsalis for Jazz at Lincoln Center; Kennedy Center Honors tributes to Natalia Makarova, Patricia McBride, and Carmen de Lavallade; an arts salute to Stephen Hawking for the World Science Festival; two Turnaround Arts performances at the White House and the first performance of the White House Dance Series hosted by Michelle Obama. Woetzel has collaborated on numerous initiatives with Yo-Yo Ma, including the Silk Road Connect program in the New York City public schools. In 2009, Woetzel became the founding director of the Jerome Robbins Foundation’s New Essential Works (NEW) Program, which initiates grants to support new dance works. President Obama appointed Woetzel to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2009, and he served throughout the Obama administration. Woetzel holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School. He received the 2015 Harvard Arts Medal and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Woetzel serves on the boards of New York City Center, Sing for Hope, and Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Alliance.

Read the press release naming Damian Woetzel as Juilliard's seventh president

Jason Moranon the cover of the Who's in the Lobby Video

Jason Moran, Jazz Pianist and Composer | Who's in the Lobby?

Community Messages

September 4, 2018 | Convocation

What we are doing here today, I am realizing, is resembling a workshop as much as an event. And I think that is telling us something important as we mark the beginning of our school year. The Latin roots of the word “convocation” mean “to call us together” and so we are called, on this day and in this place, to start a new year and to begin the work, but actually to “re-begin.” To re-begin as we will all continue to do for the rest of the year, and indeed the rest of our lives. We are in fact always re-beginning, always building, always workshopping, the project is always ongoing, and what we have seen today has underscored those iterative qualities of artistic practice.

I have been reflecting on this extraordinary institution’s own practice. In many ways, this year will be marked with the rhythm of all the years before it: in performance halls and practice rooms, on stages and in small-group settings, we will aspire to perform at the highest caliber. We will harness our energy and our discipline—in honing our skills. Read more

July 1, 2018 | First Day in Office

Today, I have the great privilege of becoming Juilliard’s president, and I am so honored to join with you in creating the next chapter of this extraordinary institution. 
 
Over the past year, I have spent my time preparing for this day by listening and learning. The faculty, students, staff, and alumni I have had the opportunity to speak with have graced me with their passionate commitment to Juilliard and its history, and with their ideas and aspirations for our school’s future. I am profoundly grateful to President Polisi, whose influence and example have been a guiding star for me; first in creating the road map for the life of artist as citizen, and now in this moment as we go forward into a new era at Juilliard. I am so appreciative of the guidance Joseph has given me, and I will continue to rely on him as he today becomes president emeritus and chief China officer, leading our efforts in Tianjin to the successful launch of Juilliard’s new global campus. All of us at Juilliard owe President Polisi a true debt of gratitude for his visionary leadership over the past 34 years. Read more

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