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China's first lady visits Juilliard School

Updated: 2015-09-29 02:18
By HEZI JIANG (China Daily USA)

China's first lady visits Juilliard School

China's first lady Peng Liyuan is welcomed by Juilliard School President Joseph W. Polisi as she arrives at the famous conservatory in New York City on Monday morning. In the presence of the first lady, Polisi announced that Juilliard is opening its first campus outside New York in Tianjin, China. HEZI JIANG/CHINA DAILY

China's first lady Peng Liyuan, who was a renowned singer, visited the Juilliard School, one of the world's pre-eminent performing arts conservatories, on Monday morning. Juilliard students and faculty welcomed her with five music, dance and drama performances, what Juilliard President Joseph Polisi called "a glimpse" of Juilliard education.

The show ended with Liv Redpath, a master's of music soprano, singing the Yunnan folk song Xiao He Liu Shui (Flowing River). Redpath practiced for weeks with help from her Chinese peer, Jia Fan, and came across the first lady's recording of the song before knowing she would perform it for her.

Peng cheered Redpath, and coached her on a few lines with singing rather words. "She is an artist," said Polisi of the first lady after the visit. "You can see how involved she was."

Without an interpreter they understood each, he said. "As soon as you don't need a translator, a lot of walls come down."

"It was so nice to relate to another artist. She knows what it's like to perform, so she's more compassionate and understanding," said Redpath.

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