Renée Fleming Donates Archives To Juilliard
American soprano Renée Fleming, one of the most beloved and celebrated singers of our time, is donating her personal archives to Juilliard, her alma mater. The announcement was made by Juilliard President Damian Woetzel at the beginning of Fleming's Vocal Arts master class, held on February 19 in Juilliard's Paul Hall. The master class featured singers from Juilliard's Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts and was part of her February residency at the school.
The Renée Fleming Archives, which document Fleming's ongoing career from its beginning, include selected correspondence, press clippings and magazine features, press kits, programs, performance and professional engagement materials, video performances, memorabilia, and iconography. The archives will be part of the Peter Jay Sharp Special Collections at Juilliard, which also include the Jennie Tourel and Soulima Stravinsky Collections as well as many other notable collections. The Special Collections are housed in the school's Lila Acheson Wallace Library. In appreciation of Fleming's generous donation, Juilliard will exhibit materials from the collection once every two years.
"I'm gratified that Juilliard, which has nurtured so many artists, will provide a central home for my archive," Fleming said. "The world of music has undergone radical change, and I've observed that evolution first-hand. I have often forged my own way, on a path that hasn't always conformed to a standard model. My hope is that this archive will be a useful resource for students, scholars, or music lovers who want to know more about my own experience as an artist."
"We are truly honored that our distinguished alumna Renée Fleming is donating her archives to Juilliard," said Juilliard President Damian Woetzel said. "As Renée's illustrious career continues to break new ground, these archives will expand and give great insight to generations of students, faculty and scholars from around the world."
Juilliard's vice president for library and information resources, Jane Gottlieb, said: "The Renée Fleming Archives will be a valuable resource for young artists studying at Juilliard who aspire to follow in Ms. Fleming's footsteps as well as for scholars and opera lovers."
Renée Fleming has enjoyed a long relationship with Juilliard, where she studied with Beverley Peck Johnson. As a student at the Juilliard Opera Center, Fleming sang the roles of Musetta in Puccini's La bohème, The Wife in Menotti's Tamu-Tamu, and Merry in William Schuman's Casey at the Bat. In 2003, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the school and gave the commencement address. In 2004, Fleming joined Elton John onstage at Radio City Music Hall in a benefit concert for Juilliard and the Royal Academy of Music, with an orchestra made up of young musicians from both schools. Fleming also gave livestreamed master classes with students from the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts in 2009 and 2014. In fall 2019, she joined the newly formed Tianjin Juilliard Advisory Council, an international body created to guide Juilliard's new branch campus in China.
During her residency at Juilliard, Fleming also participated in a Music and the Mind event on improvisation and the brain on February 18, followed by the master class on February 19. The master class featured singers from Juilliard's Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts-sopranos Lila Dufy, Kathleen O'Mara, Maritina Tampakopoulo, and Meredith Wohlgemuth; mezzo-soprano Megan Moore; tenor Dashuai Chen; and baritone Greg Feldmann-in songs by Dvořák, Massenet, Mozart, and Strauss. The master class was livestreamed at juilliard.edu/live and on medici.tv, where it will remain available on replay for one year.
While in New York City, Fleming will be performing with the New York Philharmonic conducted by its music director and Juilliard alumnus Jaap van Zweden, February 20-22. She will perform singer/songwriter Björk's Virus and All Is Full of Love as well as Dark Harbor XXXV and Dark Harbor XI from Anders Hillborg's The Strand Settings, a piece composed for Fleming. The concerts also include Bruckner's Fourth Symphony and the world premiere of When the World as You've Known It Doesn't Exist for orchestra by composer Ellen Reid. Tickets for the concerts may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656.
Fleming's concert schedule this spring includes a recital tour in Europe and the U.S. with pianist Evgeny Kissin. The tour will be the two artists' first collaboration, and will come to Carnegie Hall on April 23.
Juilliard's Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts was established in 2010 by the generous support of Ellen and James S. Marcus.
Major support for the Vocal Arts master class was provided by the International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC) and its chairman, Dr. Haruhisa Handa. Renée Fleming is an IFAC and Dr. Haruhisa Handa Visiting Artist Chair in Vocal Arts.
Winner of four Grammy awards and the U.S. National Medal of Arts, Renée Fleming 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 brought her voice to a vast new audience as the first classical artist to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. In 2008, Fleming became the first woman to solo headline a Metropolitan Opera opening night gala in its 125-year history.
Fleming's current schedule includes concerts in New York, Vienna, Paris, and Beijing. In March and April, Fleming will tour Europe and the U.S. in recital with the concert pianist Evgeny Kissin. In 2019, she brought her lauded portrayal of Margaret in The Light in the Piazza to London, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Last summer, she sang the world premieres of André Previn's Penelope and Kevin Puts' The Brightness of Light at Tanglewood. In April, she appeared opposite Ben Whishaw in Norma Jean Baker of Troy to open The Shed in New York City. She earned a Tony nomination for her performance in the 2018 Broadway production of Carousel. Her latest album Lieder: Brahms, Schumann, and Mahler was released by Decca in June.
As artistic advisor to the John F. Kennedy Center, Fleming spearheads a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health focused on music, health, and neuroscience. She has presented her own Music and the Mind talks on the subject around the world, giving the Compton Lecture at MIT and the Pritzker Lecture in Chicago. She is co-director of Aspen Opera Theater and the artistic director of SongStudio at Carnegie Hall. Her many awards include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany's Cross of the Order of Merit, and France's Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. www.reneefleming.com.
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