Polisi Elected to Academy of Arts and Sciences

Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is among 210 new fellows and 19 foreign honorary members to join the Academy, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a center for independent policy research. Announcement of the 2009 fellows was made by the Academy on April 20.


“I am deeply honored to be included in such an exceptional group of individuals, and I look forward to representing Juilliard in the activities of the Academy in the time ahead,” President Polisi said upon learning of his election to the Academy.

The scholars, scientists, jurists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders to be invited into the Academy come from 28 states and 11 countries and range in age from 33 to 83. They represent universities, museums, national laboratories, private research institutes, businesses, and foundations. This year’s group—among them Juilliard jazz piano faculty member Kenny Barron—includes Nobel laureates and recipients of the Pulitzer and Pritzker prizes, MacArthur Fellowships, Academy, Grammy, and Tony awards, and the National Medal of Arts. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 10 at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was established in 1780 by founding fathers John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots. Its members have included George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. Current projects focus on science, technology, and global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education.

“Since 1780, the Academy has served the public good by convening leading thinkers and doers from diverse perspectives to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing issues of the day,” said Leslie Berlowitz, the C.E.O. and William T. Golden Chair. “I look forward to welcoming into the Academy these new members to help continue that tradition.”

Joseph Polisi became Juilliard’s sixth president in September 1984. Previously, he was dean of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, dean of faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, and executive officer of the Yale University School of Music. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale, as well as a degree in political science from the University of Connecticut and one in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is the author of The Artist as Citizen (Amadeus Press, 2005) andAmerican Muse: The Life and Times of William Schuman (Amadeus Press, 2008).


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