Tianjin Juilliard Appoints Orchestra’s First Resident Conductor

Conductor Ken Lam will become director of orchestral studies and resident conductor of the Tianjin Juilliard Orchestra

(Photo courtesy: The Tianjin Juilliard School)


The Tianjin Juilliard School (TJS) was the first joint venture to offer a U.S-accredited music degree in China. After its inception in January 2017, has offered graduate studies in orchestral studies, chamber music, and collaborative piano.

In April, TJS announced the stepping down of Alexander Brose, and the appointment of Wei He as CEO and artistic director of the school and Katherine Chu as the dean.

Its newest appointment is Ken Lam as the director of orchestral studies and resident conductor of the Tianjin Juilliard Orchestra.

Lam also serves as artistic adviser to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, resident conductor of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, and serves as artistic director of Hong Kong Voices.

Previously, he was music director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra from 2015 to 2022 and music director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra from 2017 to 2022.

He has also held roles with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra. Before becoming a conductor he was an attorney specializing in international finance for ten years.

“I am very honored to join The Tianjin Juilliard School this fall," Lam said. "It is incredibly exciting to have this opportunity to help shape the development of our orchestral studies program. Asia has experienced tremendous growth in its enthusiasm for orchestral music – I know from my own formative years how important it is for students to have access to the highest caliber of arts education. The talent pool is deep and strong, and I look forward to bringing my experiences to Tianjin and working with our wonderful students and faculty."

TJS's orchestral studies major revolves around participation in the Tianjin Juilliard Orchestra which have been led by renowned conductors such as Yu Long, Shao En, Rachel Zhang, Chen Lin, Lin Daye, and Jing Huan. The ensemble presents up to 10 concerts each season and sees resident faculty and visiting artists lead discussions, coach sectionals, and play side-by-side with students in rehearsals and performances.

"After a long and vigorous search, we are very excited that Ken Lam is finally joining the Tianjin Juilliard community as the director of orchestral studies," Katherine Chu said.

"Under his musical stewardship, Tianjin Juilliard will build an orchestral culture that represents the highest standard of musical excellence and embodies Tianjin Juilliard ethos of collaborative music-making and pedagogy. At Tianjin Juilliard, we nurture cross-cultural engagement and interdisciplinary dialogues. Ken Lam’s work across varied disciplines and cultures: in economics, law and music, places him in a unique position to share the diversity and richness of his professional experiences with our student body and faculty alike. Please join me in welcoming Maestro Lam to Tianjin Juilliard.”