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Honorary Fellow

Joseph William POLISI

2008 Honorary Fellow

Joseph William POLISI


Joseph William Polisi became sixth president of the Julliard School in September 1984, bringing to that position previous experience as a college administrator, a writer in fields of music, public policy and arts, and as an accomplished bassoonist.  Before Julliard, Dr Polisi was Dean of University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (1983-1984), Dean of Faculty at Manhattan School of Music (1980-1983), and Executive Officer of Yale University School of Music (1976-1980).

As a bassoonist, Dr Polisi has performed extensively in the United States, in solo and chamber performances.  He has written scholarly, educational articles for professional journals, and is a frequent speaker on arts and education.  His most recent book, American Muse: The Life and Times of William Schuman, the first complete biography of the composer and arts administrator, will be published my Amadeus Press in October 2008.

Joseph Polisi’s 24 years at Julliard has seen establishment of new student services and alumni programmes, a revised curriculum, and an emphasis on humanities and liberal arts.  With Carnegie Hall, Dr Polisi helped found the Carnegie Hall/Julliard Academy, launched in September 2006, a programme for post-graduate musicians preparing as artistic and educational leaders.

In March 2008 a new partnership between Metropolitan Opera and Julliard was created to prepare young opera singers to enter the profession.  At the same time, an early music programme was introduced through master classes, taught by William Christie and Artists of Les Arts Florissants, which will result in inauguration of a master’s programme in historical performance in September 2009.

Currently, Dr Polisi oversees planning and construction for a $194 million renovation of the Julliard building, completion scheduled for September 2009.  In May/June 2008 he oversaw the Julliard Orchestra visit to China for pre-Olympic performances in Beijing and Shanghai.