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Juilliard names former ballet star as its new president

Posted May. 12, 2017 07:15,   

Updated May. 12, 2017 07:22

The Juilliard School made an unconventional choice to nominate a former ballet star as its next leader. The new president-designate of the prestigious music school is Damian Woetzel (50, pictured), who successfully transformed himself from a New York City Ballet star into an art administrator.

The Juilliard board announced Wednesday that it chose Woetzel as the school’s 7th president to succeed Joseph W. Polisi, the incumbent president stepping down from his post in 2018. Board Chairman Bruce Kovner said he and board members were “not bothered by the unconventionality of Damian’s background.”

Mr. Woetzel, who has taught college students and worked as an art director after retiring in 2008, is tasked with the tough challenge to tackle the certain job prospect of trained artists and fight strong competitors such as the Curtis Institute of Music and the Yale School of Music. Citing his experiences in other institutions, Woetzel likened running the Juilliard to “brining the orchestra together.”

In-Chan Hwang hic@donga.com