Distinguished Leadership Awards

Renée Fleming

Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award

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Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of our time. In 2013, President Obama awarded her America's highest honor for an artist, the National Medal of Arts. She brought her voice to a vast new audience in 2014, as the first classical artist ever to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Renée has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In 2014, she sang in the televised concert at the Brandenburg Gate to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Known for bringing new audiences to classical music and opera, Renée has sung not only with Pavarotti, Domingo, and Bocelli, but also with Elton John, Paul Simon, Sting, Josh Groban, and Joan Baez. She has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series, and Live from Lincoln Center. She is currently spearheading a groundbreaking collaboration between the John F. Kennedy Center and the National Institutes of Health focused on the connections between music, wellness, and the brain.

Renée won her fourth Grammy Award for her album Poèmes. Her most recent album Distant Light was recorded with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and released in January by Decca. Recipient of fourteen Grammy nominations to date, she has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals indie rock, jazz, and the movie soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Renée will be heard as the singing voice of Roxane, played by Julianne Moore, in the upcoming Hollywood film of Ann Patchett’s best-selling novel Bel Canto.

Renée’s 2016-17 tour schedule includes concerts in San Francisco, New York, Budapest, Vienna, Paris, Madrid, Beijing, and Tokyo. This season she appeared as the Marschallin in a new production of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, reprising the role in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of the production this spring.

In 2016, Renée was appointed artistic adviser for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2010, she was named the first-ever creative consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Renée is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Hall Corporation, the Board of Sing for Hope, and the Artistic Advisory Board of the Polyphony Foundation

Among her awards are the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and honorary doctorates from Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School.

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