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Music and the Mind

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

This talk is part of the Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium.

Time and Location

Tuesday, October 29
Registration:   6:30-7:00 pm
Presentations:   7:00-7:45 pm
Panel discussion:   7:45-8:10 pm
Q&A:   8:10-8:30 pm

Yale Center Beijing
8 Jianguomenwai Avenue, 36th Floor, Tower B, IFC Building (Yong’anli Station, Exit C)

Registration and Fees

Click HERE to register.
Please email If you encounter any payment issues, please attach a screenshot that identifies the issue.

Free for students; RMB 80 for Yale alumni; RMB 100 for others.

Walk-ins are not accepted.

Refreshments will be provided.


The language of the event will be English with simultaneous translation.

The Event

On October 29, World-renowned soprano Renée Fleming will give a presentation, “Music and the Mind”, explores the power of music as it relates to health, including childhood development, music therapy, and discoveries that are changing human beings' understanding of the brain. Following the presentation, a panel of experts, Dr. Robert Blocker, the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music at Yale University, Dr. Kunlin Wei (Peking University) and Dr. Bin Hu (University of Calgary) will join Renée Fleming to discuss how listening to, performing, or creating music can contribute to well-being.

The Moderator

Dr. Robert Blocker
Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music &Yale University

An internationally-renowned pianist, educator, and administrator, Robert Blocker has served as the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music at Yale University since 1995. During his tenure, he has been active throughout the world in promoting music and the arts, including and especially in China. In 2006, Dr. Blocker was named honorary Professor of Piano at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.

The Speakers

Renée Fleming

Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of this time, performing on the stages of the world's greatest opera houses, theaters, and concert halls. Awarded the United States' highest honor for an artist, the National Medal of Arts, and winner of four Grammy Awards, she has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. As Artistic Advisor to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Renée spearheads a collaboration with the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts, focused on music, health, and neuroscience.

Kunlin Wei
Professor & School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Peking University

Kunlin Wei, a professor in School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences at Peking University, Ph.D advisor, Committee member for Engineering Psychology in Chinese Psychological Society. His research focuses on brain and cognitive science, particularly in the direction of human sensorimotor control by using methods such as psychophysics, virtual reality and brain imaging.

He has published about 40 papers in international scientific journals including renowned ones such as Current Biology and Journal of Neuroscience. He was invited for giving academic lectures in McGovern Brain Institute at MIT, Neuroscience Program at Northwestern University, and Neuroscience Program at University of Pennsylvania. Known by millions, Dr. Wei served as a scientist referee in The SuperBrain show from 2014 to 2019.

Bin Hu
Professor & Translational Neuroscience, University of Calgary

Dr. Bin Hu is MD. Ph.D. neuroscientist and an endowed professor for Parkinson's disease research, Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. He has received many domestic and international awards and recognitions for his scholar work on brain networks of auditory learning and memory, language comprehension and music perception.

He was the founding head of Division of Translational Neuroscience and leader of two large translational research teams which developed innovative non-pharmaceutical therapeutics for Parkinson's disease known as Ambulosono Project.

The scientific premise of Ambulosono is that human brain has primitive but potent neural structures that can utilize sound, such as motivational music, to trigger movements. Although these structures remain relatively intact in Parkinson's disease, patients need to undertake specialized brain training to condition music cues for initiating desired movements. Ambulosono Project has now been implemented in 12 sites in 6 countries, helping many patients in their quality of life.


The Beijing Music Festival, presented by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People's Republic of China and the Beijing Municipal Government, was founded in 1998. The Beijing Music Festival also emphasizes music education. Each year the Festival offers free children's and students' concerts, the Festival has held cycles of master classes each year and won extensive praise from all walks of life.

Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium


Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of C.V. Starr & Co. Inc. the Yale Center Beijing is pleased to host the Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium, which will convene thought leaders from all sectors who, in the spirit of Mr. Greenberg, play pivotal roles in building bridges among China, the U.S., and the rest of the world.

Mr. Greenberg has been a member of Yale Center Beijing’s Executive Council and retired as the Chairman and CEO of American International Group (AIG). In 2018, he was awarded the China Reform Friendship Medal.

Public Event