One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano RENÉE FLEMING captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. At a White House ceremony in 2013, the President awarded her the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honor for an individual artist. A four-time Grammy winner known as “the people’s diva,” she continues to grace the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls, now extending her reach to include other musical forms and media. She brought her voice to a vast new audience in 2014, as the first classical artist to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.
As a musical statesman, Renée has been sought after on numerous distinguished occasions, from the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to performances in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games. A ground-breaking distinction came in 2008 when Renée became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.
In the 2016/17 season, Renee will bring her acclaimed portrayal of the Marschallin in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera. Renée concluded 2015 with performances in the title role of Lehár’s The Merry Widow at Lyric Opera of Chicago, under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. She also appeared as Countess Madeleine in Strauss’ Capriccio, both at Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, and with conductor Christian Thielemann at the Semperoper Dresden. In April of 2015 she made her Broadway debut as an actress in the comedy Living on Love, for which she was nominated for a Drama League Award.
Renée’s recital schedule in recent years has spanned the globe, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Quito, Bogota, Paris, Geneva, London, Vienna, Sydney, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Taipei. Her concert schedule in 2015 included a gala benefit in Los Angeles with Andrea Bocelli, the Gala season opening of the Cleveland Orchestra, and a tour of Australia and New Zealand. In 2016 she has already appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (Carnegie Hall), and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. In May, she sang in the National Memorial Day Concert with the National Symphony Orchestra, telecast from the lawn of the U.S. Capitol on PBS.
Renée won the 2013 Best Classical Vocal Solo Grammy for Poèmes (Decca, 2012), a collection of 20th-century French music, including works composed especially for her by Henri Dutilleux. Her most recent recording for Decca is Berg: Lyric Suite; Wellesz: Sonnets, with the Emerson String Quartet. Her first-ever holiday album, Christmas in New York, was released by Decca in October of 2014. Last year, she was featured with Yo-Yo Ma on the Billy Childs album, Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro, their track “New York Tendaberry” winning the Grammy for Best Arrangement, Instruments, and Vocals. In recent years, this 14-time Grammy-nominated artist has recorded everything from Strauss’ complete Daphne to the jazz album Haunted Heart to the movie soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. In February 2012, Renée received the Victoire d’Honneur, the highest award conveyed by the French Victoires de la Musique.
Renée Fleming is a champion of new music and has performed works by a wide range of contemporary composers, including recent compositions by Anders Hillborg, Henri Dutilleux, Brad Mehldau, André Previn, and Wayne Shorter. Among her numerous awards are Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit (2015); the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal (2011); Sweden’s Polar Prize (2008); the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur from the French government (2005); Honorary Membership in the Royal Academy of Music (2003); and honorary doctorates from Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University (2015), Carnegie Mellon University (2012), the Eastman School of Music (2011), and the Juilliard School (2003), where she was also commencement speaker.
In March of 2016, Renée was appointed Artistic Advisor-at-Large for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Hall Corporation, the Board of Sing for Hope, the Board of Trustees of Asia Society, and the Artistic Advisory Board of the Polyphony Foundation, which works to bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel by creating a common ground where young people come together around classical music. She is a creative advisor to AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio.