Juilliard statement: We are not teaching America's Got Talent star

Juilliard statement: We are not teaching America's Got Talent star


norman lebrecht

July 19, 2011

Claims by fans and family that child star Jackie Evancho is being taught at the Juilliard School were denied today. In a letter to this site, Gloria Gottschalk, Juilliard media relations manager, stated their position as follows:

Lorraine Nubar, who is on Juilliard’s Pre-College faculty, had a meeting with Jackie Evancho – and did hear her sing, but Ms. Evancho will not be attending Juilliard’s Pre-College Division in the fall.

That’s about as categorical as it gets.




  • I am not interested in entering the debate about Jackie Evancho’s singing (which I seriously question,) but the note from Juilliard makes me a bit angry and seems worth comment. It would have been enough to simply say that the girl will not be attending Juilliard. Period. Instead, they very consciously create the implication that she was rejected in an announcement to a wide public. This could cause unnecessary embarrassment and stress to a child who has already been through more than enough. I am sure Ms. Gottschalk was well-meaing, but her administrators need to let her know that announcements concerning children require special consideration and discretion.

    • Janey says:

      I agree William. It is a very terse note, and the child does not deserve that.

      I am interested to see the information about Lorraine Nubar. I found her involvement unbelievable. I couldn’t imagine someone of her caliber working with a child singing Puccini.

      Mr. Lebrecht, I have a recollection that Mrs. Evancho posted on the other thread saying that her daughter did not attend Juilliard and that these were fan rumors. Am I mistakenly remembering?

      If my mind has not completely collapsed, there were no claims by family. I think for the child’s future, this is important to sort.

  • Let me clarify. The original post drew attention to the Billboard classical chart being topped by an apparently untrained 11 year-old singer from America’s Got Talent. Fans of the singer, eventually quoting her family, maintained that she was studying at Juilliard. I misphrased one of these comments as ‘registered’ at Juilliard, an error I corrected hours later. Juilliard has asked me to point out that she is not studying there.
    This thread is now closed.

  • Mark Baehr says:

    Jackie Evancho is a tremendously talented eleven-year old singing prodigy who potentially possesses a future which any other child could only dream of. Regardless of the circumstances behind her appearance at the Juilliard School, that is whether she was actually auditioning for a place in the fall, 2011 Pre-college class there, there is no doubt that the day will come when Jackie will be welcomed (let me, more correctly, say begged) by school officials to enter a future fall class at the Juilliard School. In my eyes, that day will arrive within the next three years. Jackie’s talent may still be a bit raw, but wait for what she will sound like when she is a polished product!

  • Joe C says:

    It is the vitriol and sycophantry like this that WILL eventually lead poor Jackie to rehab. Jackie has talent. Period…There are hundreds, perhaps thousands who are also talented in various ways. There are people from Julliard who are in orchestras and others who never made it. Get a life and stop treating her as if she was a child beauty pageant contestant, specializing in the singing/talent portion.

  • Kate M says:

    I wish there were more people like you, who are not afraid to say these things. Jackie has loads of time to develop her voice, I wish people would let her, she has a great talent but there are also a great deal of others.

    • Chuck says:

      No one is stopping Jackie from develpoing her talent, as she’s doing that presently.. Als,o, of course there are a great deal of others with talent, but lets be honest with ourselves, there has been no one in known history, recorded history for certain, that has shown this kind of talent at this age. No one.

      • John S says:

        I beg to differ: There was this guy called Mozart as well as others who surpassed Jackie. Unless of course you are referring to singers only. You must remember, for singers, unlike instrumentalists, it really doesn’t matter what they sound like at 11 years old because as any voice coach will tell you, there voice WILL change when they reach the teen years. One other huge point to take into account besides the change of voice is that music isn’t just about hitting the notes, it’s also about reaching into the music to understand it. That’s why conductors who issue their first recordings of a Beethoven symphony almost always degrade it compared to later recordings because their adult state has absorbed more and learned more. Potential, while important, is really only the beginning of a musician, not the end all. The world is full of unfulfilled geniuses with potential who could not develop beyond that. It’s like a rose; all look beautiful awaiting their bloom; some turn out beautiful and others don’t.

  • Mirek Vejvoda says:

    The statement from the school is highly arrogant in implying that Jackie Evancho auditioned but was rejected. A statement like that is inappropriate about anyone and I doubt that you have students that surpass Evancho in potential. Your faculty members and public relations people should be trained in manners. And as someone already stated, one day you will be begging her to attend your school; there are certainly other as good schools if not better than yours…

  • Brynhild Tudor says:

    Juilliard is practically the top school in the country. I don’t find their letter regarding Evancho demeaning at all, and I recognize the huge gap between Jackie’s fans in the general public, who are not trained vocal professionals, and faculty members at the school, who definitely are worth their salt. I’d take their comments over ones by fans any day of the week.