Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan visit the Juilliard School on Monday. Photo: US China Press
Juilliard School, an art school in New York, held a welcoming ceremony for Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan’s visit at the school on Monday.
Joseph W. Polisi, the principal of the school, said music has no boundaries and it should become a bridge of Sino-US friendship. He spoke highly of Peng’s visit and said Peng was not only an outstanding artist, but also an excellent music educator.
The shows at the ceremony, including western music as well as Chinese folk songs, were performed by the students and teachers of the Juilliard School. The ceremony included performances ranging from 17th century Shakespeare drama to modern dance.
Ji Youlan, a 16-year old Chinese-American girl, brought the house down by playing the Chopin Nocturne C-sharp minor at the ceremony. She began to learn piano at the age of four, and gave her own piano concert at the age of eight at the Beijing Yamaha Music Exchange Center.
Ji went to America and studied at Julliard School at the age of 12, and won a big prize at the Beethoven piano concerto competition. She also ranked third in the junior group of the 2015 Van Cliburn International piano competition.
However, Ji said she was still very nervous to perform in front of the First Lady Peng Liyuan, but very happy to see her.
“She looks very kind, just like a relative from the hometown. She also invited us to perform in China,” said Ji.
Since the 1920s, Chinese students began to study at the school, Polisi said. Now, hundreds of Chinese students who graduated from Juilliard School are making contributions to cultural development throughout the world.
In 2015, the school admitted more than 70 Chinese students who accounted for 70% of the total students at the school. The school has provided Chinese students scholarships worth 8.2 million dollars in the past 10 years, according to Polisi.
In addition, through the cooperation with Chinese music academies, the school has also provided master classes for professors, and organized a performing tour in China, which has promoted cultural exchanges between China and the US, Polisi said.
(This article is translated and edited by Charmian.)