Thomas Hampson Profile Photo

Thomas Hampson

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.

Latest News:

  • 07.03.2016 - "Hampson and Rieger in songs of love and loss at the Konzerthaus, Vienna"

  • "In an evening characterized by excellent partnership and wonderful programming, longtime partners in song, baritone Thomas Hampson and pianist Wolfram Rieger presented works by Liszt, Meyerbeer, Chausson, Saint-Saëns, Rossini, Mahler and Dvořák at Vienna’s Konzerthaus.

    A thoughtfully constructed set of German songs by Franz Liszt opened the evening. With few exceptions, Liszt’s some 80 odd vocal works have found only an uneasy place in the Germanic Lied repertoire. His settings of text is not always organic, and the liberties he often takes in terms of text repetition are extensive . . . Hampson and Rieger opened with three of his Heine settings, the first two parallel settings better known from Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Op.24 collections, respectively, and the third a dissonant, embittered outcry against love and art. The duo were very much of one mind throughout the set, and both also enjoyed moments of individual brilliance. Hampson took some particularly interesting risks at the end of Es rauschen die Winde, a dark Rellstab setting where spring’s love and life is extinguished by cold, blustering winds. Rieger was a study in variety of articulation and touch – from his beautiful postlude in Im Rhein, im schönen Strome to the colorful, virtuosic showpiece which ended the Liszt set, Drei Zigeuner . . .

    Hampson’s beautiful and universally recognizable vocal timbre served him well through Chausson's melancholy Le temps des lilas and Le chevalier Malheur. The latter, an amazing poem by Verlaine, describes the visit of the knight “Misfortune” who pierces the heart of the protagonist with his lance, then reaches inside and painfully kills his old heart. To the protagonists’s surprise – an astonishment reflected in musical transformation - a new heart, “pure and proud” grows in its place . . .  This attention to delivery, effective interpretation and intelligent programming is what make the Hampson/Rieger duo such a consistently beloved force in concert.

    Themes of nature, love and loss continued into the second half, with works of the composer with whom Hampson’s name is perhaps most closely linked, Gustav Mahler. The beautifully constructed set, including selections from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, a youthful composition Frühlingsmorgen and even Ging heut morgen übers Feld from the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen traced love from its infatuated beginnings – a lover gently cajoling his sleeping sweetheart to wake – all the way to its tragic end in Nicht Wiedersehen."

    Chanda VanderHart -

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