Today The Juilliard School announced that former New York City Ballet star Damian Woetzel will become its next president. Woetzel, who currently serves as artistic director of the Vail Dance Festival and the Aspen Institute Arts Program will transition to his role at Juilliard, arguably the country’s most prestigious performing arts conservatory, during the summer of 2018.
Woetzel is used to working with a variety of artists. “Building on collaboration has been a defining principle of my life in the arts,” Woetzel said in a statement. “I can think of no greater privilege than to help shape the future of this extraordinary institution of music, dance and drama.” Since retiring from NYCB in 2008, Woetzel has choreographed, produced and directed a number of projects, including the Kennedy Center’s interdisciplinary DEMO series and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He’s also worked with famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma as an advocate for public school arts education. Woetzel has infused Vail with his penchant for collaboration. The festival now boasts an annual series of premieres, international engagement, and increased educational programming. After years of experience in the field, Juilliard seems like a natural next step for Woetzel, and we can’t wait to see the future of this famed institution unfold with him at its helm.