The Juilliard School has announced a new team to lead Tianjin Juilliard, its first overseas campus, on March 30. The current artistic director and dean, He Wei, will be its next CEO.
Dean He assumes the post at the close of the 2021-22 academic year, when current executive director and CEO Alexander Brose steps down. Brose is returning to North America to be with his family. Katherine Chu, who currently chairs the Tianjin Juilliard School's collaborative piano department and has been serving as the interim associate dean for academic and student affairs, will become dean, stepping into a role similar to the one He has held since the opening of the school.
With his new role, He will oversee Tianjin Juilliard's community of staff, faculty, and students — around 300 people — in Tianjin, a leading the joint-venture institution in bringing innovative approaches to music education throughout the region. He will also continue to serve as artistic director and on the school's violin and chamber music faculty on a limited basis.
Prior to joining Tianjin Juilliard in 2017, He taught at San Francisco Conservatory of Music as professor of violin for 17 years and also served as Chair of the Strings Department. He received his early music training at the middle school of Sichuan Conservatory of Music. He came to the United States for his undergraduate studies at University of Texas at Austin and finished his graduate studies in chamber music at San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
"It has been an extraordinary journey to work with Alex on this visionary institution which bridges cultures through music. I am extremely honored to lead Tianjin Juilliard into its next phase together with Katherine as the dean. I am excited to continue building artistic collaboration, performance outreach, community engagement as well as lifelong learning initiatives," said He.
Chu is an American pianist, vocal coach, and artistic consultant. She joined The Juilliard School administration in 2020 and served as chair of collaborative piano. Born in Taiwan to Sino-Vietnamese parents, Chu is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program. She completed the Merola Opera Program and a fellowship at the Tanglewood Festival.
"As a team, Alex and Wei have been critical in ensuring the success of our new campus in Tianjin and for forging the unique Juilliard spirit of excellence and collaboration within the vibrant community there. While we understand and respect Alex's decision to step away and reunite with his family, we will deeply miss his leadership and his unwavering commitment to Tianjin Juilliard," said Joseph W. Polisi, president emeritus and chief China officer of Juilliard.
As the school's sixth and longest-serving president, Polisi is credited with launching the Tianjin Juilliard School campus by working with its Chinese partners. The Tianjin campus broke ground on June 15, 2017, and opened in fall 2020. It offers US-accredited, full-time master's degrees in orchestral performance, chamber music and collaborative piano, as well as programs for pre-college students.
Alexander Brose was appointed in January 2017 as the Tianjin school's first executive director and CEO. "It has been the honor of a lifetime helping to build the community and culture of The Tianjin Juilliard School. Despite opening during a global pandemic, the school is thriving and achieving exactly what we hoped to accomplish as Juilliard's branch campus. As sad as it is to say goodbye, I look forward to rejoining my family in the US, and I couldn't be happier that my esteemed colleagues Wei and Katherine will be leading the organization. I look forward to congratulating our first graduating class in person this spring and joining the Tianjin Juilliard Advisory Council in support of this remarkable institution," said Brose.