Performance Year: 2020
Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, has received international honors and awards for his captivating artistry and cultural leadership. Lauded as a Metropolitan Opera Guild “Met Mastersinger” and inducted into both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Gramophone’s “Hall of Fame,” Hampson is one of the most respected and innovative musicians of our time. With an operatic repertoire of over 80 roles sung in all the major theaters of the world, his discography comprises more than 170 albums, which include multiple nominations and winners of the Grammy Award, Edison Award, and the Grand Prix du Disque. He received the 2009 Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, and was appointed the New York Philharmonic’s first-ever Artist-in-Residence. In 2010, he was honored with a Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress, where he has served as Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music in America. Furthermore, he has received the famed Concertgebouw Prize.
Notable engagements for his 2018/19 season include Thomas Hampson’s highly anticipated debut at the Canadian Opera Company, singing the title role in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian, as well as his debut at Houston Grand Opera as the famed librettist Lorenzo da Ponte in the world premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix. Further, he sings one of his signature roles, Scarpia, in Tosca, at the Wiener Staatsoper, and returns to Teatro alla Scala as Altair in Strauss’ Die ägyptische Helena.
Thomas Hampson frequently gives recitals all over the world with his long-time musical partner Wolfram Rieger. He starts his Schubert Week at Berlin’s Boulezsaal with an all-Schubert program, and further gives recitals at the Opernhaus Zürich as well as the Schubertiade in Austria.
On the concert stage, Thomas Hampson continues to show his great diversity in the 2018/19 season. In Vienna he performs Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with the Wiener Symphoniker under Philippe Jordan, in commemoration the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. He then engages on an extensive tour with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko with works by Hugo Wolf, Aaron Copland, and others. He starts off the new year with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Bramwell Tovey with Copland’s Old American Songs, before he reunites with clarinetist Daniel Ottensamer and his ensemble the Wiener Virtuosen, for a chamber music concert with Dvořák’s Zigeunerlieder and a selection of Mahler songs in Vienna’s Musikverein.
Further orchestra concerts bring Hampson to Munich with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the baton of Mariss Jansons (Kurt Weill: Four Walt Whitman Songs), to Berlin with the Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowsky (Mahler: Rückert Lieder) and to Japan, where he performs Mahler Songs with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Andris Nelsons. Thomas Hampson gives several gala performances with renowned vocal partners throughout the season, in Tokyo with Angela Gheorgiu, in Baden-Baden with Nadine Sierra, with Kristine Opolais in Leipzig, and at the Ljubiljana Festival with Elena Mosuc. He is also once again the star in the Bayerische Staatsoper’s summer open-air gala “Oper für Alle” under the baton of renowned conductor Kirill Petrenko. He will share the stage with his son-in-law, bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni for their “No Tenors Allowed” program in Boston, Toronto, and Santa Fe.
The 2018/19 season also marks the exciting launch of Thomas Hampson’s “Song of America: Beyond Liberty” project. Mr. Hampson will guide audiences through stories using personal anecdotes, historical monologues, and readings of his favorite poetry, to celebrate America’s history through song. The project, developed with stage director Francesca Zambello and writer Royce Vavrek, premiered at the Glimmerglass Festival, and shares the rich history of the people and events that helped create and define “the land of the free” with audiences, students, and educators across the US and beyond. Through The Hampsong Foundation, which he founded in 2003, he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.
During his 2017/18 season, Thomas returned to the Opéra National de Paris in one of his signature roles, Count Danilo in Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe. He also sang the title role in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at the Wiener Staatsoper, and Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca at the Bayerische Staatsoper. A highlight of his concert schedule was his debut concert tour in Australia, where he was critically acclaimed as “a singer of exceptional artistry…[it’s] easy to understand why he was a protégé of Leonard Bernstein” (J-Wire) and he was regarded as “The George Clooney of opera” (Sydney Morning Herald).
Hampson is an honorary professor on the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Heidelberg, and holds honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory, Whitworth College, and San Francisco Conservatory, and is an honorary member of London’s Royal Academy of Music. He carries the titles of Kammersänger of the Wiener Staatsoper and Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France, and was awarded the Austrian Medal of Honor in Arts and Sciences. In 2017, Thomas Hampson received the Hugo Wolf Medal from the International Hugo Wolf Academy, together with his long-time musical collaborator, pianist Wolfram Rieger. The award recognizes their outstanding achievements in the art of song interpretation.
Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer, recording artist, and “ambassador of song,” maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach, and technology, continually expanding his pedagogical activities. He is the Artistic Director of the Heidelberg Lied Academy, and collaborates with the Barenboim-Said Academy Schubert Week in Berlin each year. His recurring international master class schedule is a continuing online resource of the Manhattan School of Music, Medici.tv, and The Hampsong Foundation livestream channel.
About Song of America: Beyond Liberty