Damian Woetzel Named President of the Juilliard School

The former principal dancer at the New York City Ballet will assume the new role in July 2018.

NEW YORK CITY: The Juilliard School has named Damian Woetzel as the school’s seventh president. Woetzel will begin his new post in July 2018, succeeding Joseph W. Polisi.

“On behalf of the board of trustees, I am pleased to welcome Damian Woetzel to the Juilliard School as our next president,” said board chair Bruce Kovner in a statement. “Since beginning our search last October, we have had the privilege of getting to know some of the most distinguished leaders in the arts field and beyond. Damian’s vision and optimism are second to none, and we are confident that he will advance Juilliard’s mission for the next generation while building on the foundation of artistic and academic excellence established by his distinguished predecessor, Joseph Polisi.”

Damian Woetzel. (Photo by Erin Baiano)

Woetzel currently serves as director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program. He is also the artistic director of Vail Dance Festival, a role he will continue through summer 2018. He also worked as an independent director, choreographer, and producer after retiring as a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet in 2008. His projects include the Kennedy Center’s interdisciplinary DEMO series, Wynton Marsalis’s Spaces at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the first performance of the White House Dance Series under the Obama administration, among others. Woetzel also served on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. In 2015, he received the Harvard Arts Metal. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

“It is a tremendous honor to have been selected as the next president of the Juilliard School,” said Woetzel in a statement. “Building on collaboration has been a defining principle of my life in the arts, and I can think of no greater privilege than to help shape the future of this extraordinary institution of music, dance, and drama. I’d like to extend my thanks to Bruce Kovner, Juilliard’s board of trustees, and President Polisi for this tremendous opportunity to join in the tradition of excellence that Juilliard embodies, and I am inspired to work alongside them to foster new generations of emboldened citizen artists for the 21st century.”

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