On Tuesday, May 19, renowned soprano and arts & health advocate Renée Fleming will launch Music and Mind Live with Renée Fleming. The online series will feature the acclaimed singer and National Medal of Arts honoree in conversation with scientists and practitioners working at the intersection of music, neuroscience, and healthcare. Experts in fields such as childhood development, healthy aging, pain and anxiety management, and rehabilitation will share their findings, and episodes will include live Q&A from viewers.
“Research is revealing amazing things about the way arts influence human health and the brain,” said Renée Fleming. “With our working lives halted, the covid-19 pandemic has also fostered an explosion of creativity and good will. What better time to examine our need as human beings to create and experience the arts, and the basis of this in science?”
The first 45-minute weekly episode will premiere Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm EDT as a live event on Fleming’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ReneeFlemingMusic). The Kennedy Center will also feature the live-streamed events on its Facebook and YouTube channels, as well as its website at www.Kennedy-Center.org/soundhealth, where users can re-play the videos on-demand. The debut episode will feature special guest Dr. Vivek Murthy discussing a topic of special urgency today, “Music, Loneliness, and Isolation,” and his best-selling book, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World.
Fleming was inspired to launch the online video series by the Sound Health initiative she spearheads as Artistic Advisor to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in partnership with the National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment for the Arts. This year-round initiative brings together Artists and scientists to amplify the work at this intersection.
Following the first successful Sound Health events, Fleming created a program that she has now presented more than 40 times on her concert tours around the world, at institutions including the Yale Center Beijing, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her goal has been to spark continuing dialogue connecting arts institutions and their audiences with local researchers, music therapists, and healthcare providers. Fleming’s work in this field has earned her Research!America’s Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion.
The National Endowment for the Arts is providing research and communications assistance to Music and Mind Live. “The opportunities for learning, healing, and partnership offered by this series are so important in these challenging times,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The National Endowment for the Arts is honored to be a resource in support of Renée Fleming in this work, advancing the understanding of the role of the arts in the fields of health and science.”
Music and Mind Live with Renée Fleming- First Scheduled Episodes
The first five webcasts are listed below, with topics and special guests. Bios and photos of Renée Fleming and guests are available here (https://bit.ly/35OQkA1 )
Vivek H. Murthy, MD (former US Surgeon General, author)
Julene Johnson, PhD and Charles Limb, MD (University of California San Francisco); Sunil Iyengar (National Endowment for the Arts)
Miriam Lense, PhD, (Vanderbilt University Music Cognition Lab); Sara Beck, PhD (Randolph College)
Deepak Chopra, MD (The Chopra Foundation)
Wendy Magee, PhD (Temple University); Tom Sweitzer, MMT, MT-BC (A Place to Be)
Subsequent episodes will include Daniel J. Levitin, the best-selling author of This is Your Brain on Music and a new book, Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives, musicologist and Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, and virtuoso percussionist and composer Zakir Hussain.
Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, performing in opera houses, concert halls, and theaters around the globe. Winner of four Grammy® awards, she has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In 2014, Fleming became the first classical artist ever to sing the US National Anthem at the Super Bowl.
When social distancing precautions began, Fleming was preparing to tour Europe and the US in recital with the Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin. Last spring, she appeared opposite Ben Whishaw in Norma Jean Baker of Troy to open The Shed in New York City. Last summer, she performed world premieres by André Previn and Kevin Puts at Tanglewood, and she made her London musical theater debut in The Light in the Piazza, bringing the production to Los Angeles and Chicago in the autumn. Fleming earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the 2018 Broadway production of Carousel. Her new album, Lieder: Brahms, Schumann, and Mahler, was released by Decca in June.
Fleming’s other awards include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. Fleming’s memoir The Inner Voice is in its 16th printing and has been translated and published around the world.
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