Gala Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Polisi Presidency

A steady rain poured down on New York City on April 26, but the weather didn’t put a damper on the mood at the School’s President’s Gala that evening. The event celebrated Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi’s 25 years of leadership at the School and featured several Juilliard alumni—including soprano Renée Fleming and actor Laura Linney—and other special guests. Students in the Dance, Drama, and Music Divisions joined the festivities with a lively program of performances in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Among the highlights were selections from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, the premiere of choreographer and alum Adam Hougland’s Six for Five, a scene from August Wilson’s Fences, and the third movement of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3, performed by the Juilliard Orchestra and Pre-College pianist Conrad Tao, under the baton of resident conductor George Stelluto. A number of surprises were planned for President Polisi throughout the evening, including personal video greetings from New York City Ballet director Peter Martins, actor and alum Robin Williams, composer John Adams, and current L.A. Dodgers and former Yankees manager Joe Torre.

Following the presentation, guests were transported to a tent in Damrosch Park for dinner and dancing to the music of the Peter Duchin Orchestra.