Column Name


Lori Bierly
Development: Associate Director of Major and Planned Gifts

Lori was born and raised in Bellefonte, Pa., “a very beautiful and rural part of the state” where her parents have a dairy farm. She has a bachelor’s degree in music education from Susquehanna University and an M.S. in nonprofit management from the New School for Social Research. Before coming to Juilliard, she worked for nearly 10 years in the development office at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She also worked for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in the education, marketing, and development departments.

Lori Bierly

Lori Bierly in Changsha, China, in January 2005, with her friend’s newly adopted daughter, Allyson.


How long have you worked at Juilliard, and what do you remember about your first day? What is one of your favorite memories from your years here?
I have worked here since October 2001 and I remember how welcoming people were when I arrived. I also remember being amazed at the diversity of jobs that people do at Juilliard. There are scene-shop people and wig makers and piano technicians and artists and teachers … there are so many talented people who work at Juilliard! I would have to say that my favorite Juilliard memory was watching the Rolling Stones perform a concert to kick off their world tour on the balcony outside of President Polisi’s office in 2005. That was something I never would have expected to happen here, something that brought out a side of many colleagues that I hadn’t seen before. It was a really fun day!

What job at Juilliard would you like to try out for a day and why?
I would love to work with Mr. Tsumita and the piano technicians. I play the piano, although I don’t know much about the inner workings of the instrument. The piano is a fascinating instrument from a technical standpoint. To be able to take a piano apart, refurbish it, and put it back together again is an amazing skill. I have a terrible sense of pitch, though, so I’m sure I could never actually tune a piano.

What is the strangest or most memorable job you’ve ever had and what made it so?
I don’t think I’ve ever had a strange job. In college I delivered meal trays to patients in a hospital, which made me briefly consider becoming a nurse. It was actually a really hard job, but one that was very satisfying.

If out of the blue your boss said to take the day off, what would you do with your free time?
I would probably go for a run in the morning, then head to one of my favorite museums. Then I would go shopping, see a movie, have a walk in the park, then have dinner with friends—and maybe have a nap sometime in there, too.

What other pursuits are you passionate about?
I’ve been studying French for seven years, although I have no facility for the language! I also love photography, traveling, running, playing the piano, and volunteering as a cook at the soup kitchen at my church.

What was the best vacation you’ve had and what made that trip so special?
The most memorable trip was when I accompanied my best friend and her husband to China, where they adopted their daughter Allyson. Besides being an emotional and happy trip on a personal level, I also found the food, the sights, and the culture in China to be fascinating. We traveled to Shanghai, Changsha, and Guangzhou and wandered out into the countryside a bit. It was amazing to be there during such an important time in my friends’ lives, and it was wonderful to get to know the other families who were there to adopt children. Now I am lucky to be one of Allyson’s godparents and I’ll remember every detail of that trip for a long time.

What might people be surprised to know about you?
That I have finished seven marathons.

What is your favorite thing about New York City?
I love New York like you would love a person! I love the warmth of the people, the culture, the food; I like the grittier neighborhoods and the unique places. Unfortunately a lot of these are disappearing now. I also love all the green places in New York, especially Central Park and the botanical gardens.

What book are you reading right now?
Right now I am reading Comfort Me With Apples by Ruth Reichl. I love to eat and love any book about food, and the books by Ruth Reichl are wonderful. It was lent to me by a colleague who is an amazing baker and she has recommended so many wonderful food books!


Popular Features

Popular Columns

Recent Issues