The 2021 NAMM Foundation Grand Rally for Music Education Welcomes Renée Fleming, Gustavo Dudamel, Dr. Nina Kraus and Liliana Morales in Conversations about Music Education

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Believe in Music Week

On Friday, January 22 at 12:00 p.m. PT as part of NAMM's Believe in Music week, The NAMM Foundation's Grand Rally for Music Education will welcome world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming, in conversation with music researcher Dr. Nina Kraus of Northwestern University; and Gustavo Dudamel, artistic and music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in conversation with Liliana Morales,  an alumna of YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), Maestro Dudamel's El Sistema-inspired education program. 
Annually, The Grand Rally for Music Education shares the joys and benefits of music-making and affirms a shared commitment to advocate for music education. Grand Rally guests, appearing in two interview segments, will share their personal and professional journeys and their lifelong commitment to music as essential to learning, our lives and communities. Ms. Fleming and Dr. Kraus will share the vital role of music in learning for people of all ages including updates on current research on its impact and benefits.  Maestro Dudamel and Ms. Morales will share their perspectives on the importance of music during this time of the pandemic, music’s role in addressing social justice and, why music education is a fundamental right for all children. 
"We gather representing a shared mission that we must 'play this passion forward' and work together to assure that music education is a right for every child and that all of us are working – nationally, in our states and in our hometowns – to assure this right is realized for every child, everywhere," shares Mary Luehrsen, Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation. 
The Grand Rally is part of weeklong of activities unifying and supporting the people who bring music to the world at Believe in Music week, January 18-22. The week will feature a variety of special events and concerts, a Marketplace to experience the latest in new products and technologies, 200 professional development and training sessions for all sectors of the music products, pro audio, and entertainment technology industries, and NAMM Foundation education for music educators and administrators, nonprofit professionals and college-aged students and faculty, among others. Visit to review the schedule of events or to register to attend. 
Official Hashtag: #BelieveinMusic 
About Renée Fleming
Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, performing on the stages of the world's greatest opera houses and concert halls. Honored with four Grammy® awards and the US National Medal of Arts, 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 brought her voice to vast new audience as the first classical artist ever to sing The Star-Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. In 2008 Renée was the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.
Known for bringing new audiences to classical music and opera, Renée has starred in and hosted an array of television and radio broadcasts, including The Met: Live in HD and Live from Lincoln Center. Her voice is featured on the soundtracks of Best Picture Oscar winners The Shape of Water and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. This seventeen-time Grammy-nominated artist has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals to jazz and indie rock, and her album Signatures was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for the National Recording Registry, as an "aural treasure worthy of preservation as part of America's patrimony."
In May, Renée launched Music and Mind LIVE, a weekly online interview show exploring the intersection of music and arts with human health and the brain. In 19 episodes, the show amassed more than 650,000 views from 70 countries. Renée was inspired to launch the series by the Sound Health initiative she leads as Artistic Advisor to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in partnership with the NIH and the NEA. She has given presentations with scientists and practitioners on the connection of arts and health around the world. 
In addition to her work with the Kennedy Center, Renée leads SongStudio at Carnegie Hall, an intensive program for young singers and pianists dedicated to the art of the song. She is Co-Director of the Aspen Opera Center and VocalArts at the Aspen Music Festival.
In 2019, Renée appeared opposite Ben Whishaw in Norma Jean Baker of Troy to open The Shed in New York City. Later that year, she performed world premieres by André Previn and Kevin Puts at Tanglewood, and the London premiere of The Light in the Piazza, bringing the acclaimed production to Los Angeles and Chicago in the autumn. Renée earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the 2018 Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. 
Renée's book, The Inner Voice, was published by Viking Penguin in 2004, and is now in its sixteenth printing. It is also published in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Poland, Russia, and China.
Renée's other awards include 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 Yale, Northwestern, Harvard, Duke, and Carnegie Mellon Universities, and the University of Pennsylvania, the Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School.
About Gustavo Dudamel 
Gustavo Dudamel is driven by the belief that music has the power to transform lives, to inspire, and to change the world. Through his dynamic presence on the podium and his tireless advocacy for arts education, Dudamel has introduced classical music to new audiences around the world and has helped to provide access to the arts for countless young people in underserved communities.
With the COVID-19 global pandemic shutting down the majority of live performances, Dudamel has committed even more time and energy to his mission of bringing music to young people across the globe, firm in his belief that the arts play an essential role in creating a more just, peaceful, and integrated society.
While quarantining in Los Angeles, he hosted a new radio program from his living room entitled "At Home with Gustavo," sharing personal stories and musical selections as a way to bring people together during a time of isolation. The program was broadcast locally as well as internationally in both English and Spanish, with guest co-hosts including, among others, composer John Williams, his wife, actress María Valverde.
Dudamel also participated in Global Citizen's Global Goal: Unite For Our Future TV fundraising special, giving a socially-distanced performance from the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Phil and YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). The event, also featuring guest artists Shakira, Coldplay, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Usher, and more, was viewed by millions of people worldwide and raised $6.9 billion dollars to provide COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines to the world's poorest and most marginalized communities.
Upcoming projects include a virtual version of the YOLA National Festival (alongside numerous other national and international educational events with YOLA), and the launch of his highly-anticipated multimedia educational project "Symphony", presented in collaboration with the "la Caixa Foundation," beginning in Barcelona and touring throughout Spain later this year. Beginning in August 2020, Dudamel will host a six-episode PBS television series on KCET entitled "In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl", which highlights key moments from the past ten years of performances at the historic LA Phil summer home. The program will be broadcast nationwide on PBS in early 2021. Dudamel also led the launch of the LA Phil's digital streaming series, SOUND/STAGE, which premiered in September 2020, offering a mix of concert films, interviews, essays, playlists and artwork.
A lifelong advocate for music education and social development through art, Dudamel himself was shaped by his childhood experience with El Sistema, the extraordinary program and philosophy initiated in 1975 by Maestro José Antonio Abreu. Inspired by El Sistema, in 2007, Dudamel, the LA Phil, and its community partners founded YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) which now serves over 1,300 musicians providing young people with free instruments, intensive music instruction, academic support, and leadership training. In the 2020/21 season, YOLA will open its own permanent, purpose-built facility: The Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center at Inglewood, designed by architect Frank Gehry.
For more information about Gustavo Dudamel, visit his official website at and Gustavo Dudamel Foundation
About Dr. Nina Kraus
Nina Kraus is Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences, Neurobiology, and Otolaryngology at Northwestern University. She is a scientist and amateur musician who uses hearing as a window into brain health. 
She began her career measuring responses from single auditory neurons and was one of the first to show that the adult nervous system has the potential for reorganization with learning. These biological insights led her to investigate sound processing in the brain in humans. 
Through a series of studies with thousands of participants from birth to age 90, her research has found that our lives in sound, for better (musicians, bilinguals) and for worse (concussion, hearing loss, language disorders, noise), shape how our brain makes sense of the sounds we hear.
She advocates for biologically informed choices in education, health, and social policy. See
About Liliana Morales 
Liliana Morales is a Microbiology and Sociology student at the University of California San Diego. She is an alumna of YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel's El Sistema-inspired education program, as well as a YOLA National Institute (YNI) fellow. Liliana performed with YOLA at the Super Bowl Halftime Show and with various artists at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl and toured with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to London, South Korea, and Mexico. Through YNI, Liliana was part of a cohort of American students that participated in a week-long residency and performed with their Sistema Scotland Big Noise Raploch peers at the Edinburgh International Festival. 

In high school, Liliana was part of the Creative Writing Conservatory and National Honors Society at the Orange County School of the Arts and founded an El Sistema-inspired organization in her hometown, Harmony Project La Habra. She is passionate about serving her community and finding new ways to integrate her musical background with science.  /