Thomas Hampson, Host
Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular international career as a recitalist, opera singer and recording artist, and maintains an active interest in teaching, music research and technology. He has performed in all of the world’s most important concert halls and opera houses with many of today’s most renowned singers, pianists, conductors and orchestras; he is one of the most respected, innovative and sought-after soloists performing today.
Hampson is one of the world’s leading singers of German Lieder (incl. Schubert, Schumann and Mahler) and with his celebrated “Song of America” project, a collaboration with the Library of Congress, has become the “ambassador” of American song. Moreover, he is one of the world’s leading opera singers, having sung more than 70 opera roles in major opera houses all over the world, including over 200 performances at the Metropolitan Opera alone. With roughly 170 recordings on labels such as EMI and Deutsche Grammophon – several of which have won prizes like the Grammy and Gramophone awards – he is also one of the most prolific recording artists of our time.
Hampson began his 2011-12 season at the San Francisco Opera, where he created the main role in the world-premiere production of Heart of a Soldier by Christopher Theofanidis, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Other operatic engagements this season include Iago in Verdi’s Otello and the title role in Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler, both at the Zurich Opera, and his house debut as Verdi’s Macbeth at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Among Hampson’s other season highlights are the opening night gala concert of the National Symphony Orchestra with Christoph Eschenbach, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Munich Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, Brahms’s Requiem and Dvorak’s Biblical Songs with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck, and “Song of America” recitals in New York and Cologne.
For more information, visit www.thomashampson.com
Critical Acclaim for “Song of America”
“If American song needs an evangelist, no one is better equipped to do the job right than Thomas Hampson…. Hampson makes something deeply personal of the song medium, choosing music that’s ideally suited to his virile persona and delivering it with such eloquence and probing intelligence that the listener shares fully in the experience. … With a voice like oiled oak, capable of infinite tonal shadings, and a gift for storytelling possessed by few of his colleagues, Hampson made each song as dramatically potent as any character in his operatic arsenal.”
-- Chicago Tribune
“The ‘Song of America Project’ reaffirms Hampson’s talent for fusing a searing intellect with artistry of the highest order.”
-- Financial Times
“Hampson made the assertion that narrative is a common thread through American song. … Mr. Hampson conveys the idea of an oral tradition that it is his mission to pass on, with the closed-eyed intensity of a blind poet when he is singing and the zeal of an evangelist when he is addressing the audience about its cultural heritage.”
-- The New York Times
“Thomas Hampson, America’s baritone, brought his latest tribute to American song – of the classical variety – to Ozawa Hall on Wednesday and triumphed. … Hampson is a prince among musicians, a commanding presence, with a remarkable, flexible instrument, and lots of virile tone. He keeps on discovering new and worthy music. He deserves all the applause he got, and there was a lot of it.
-- Boston Globe
“This country doesn't just undervalue its artists. In the case of the vast American concert-song literature, hardly any attention is paid at all. … Hampson delivered one gem after another by composers such as Charles Griffes, William McDowell, Virgil Thomson (the famous 'Tiger! Tiger!'), Samuel Barber, Charles Ives … and Henry T. Burleigh.”
-- Minneapolis Star Tribune
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