Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, hails from Spokane, Washington. He 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. Hampson who was recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Gramophone’s 2013 “Hall of Fame,” has won worldwide recognition for thoughtfully researched and creatively constructed programs as well as recordings that explore the rich repertoire of song in a wide range of styles, languages, and periods. He recently added a new album to his Deutsche Grammophon discography titled Notturno, featuring a curated selection of songs by Richard Strauss. The disc also highlights the talents of Mr Hampson’s longtime pianist and collaborator Wolfram Rieger.
On the opera stage during the 2015-16 season Hampson makes his role debut as Roald Amundsen in the world premiere of Miroslav Srnka’s opera South Pole, a commission by the Bayerische Staatsoper. The opera will be conducted by Kirill Petrenko and is based on the fateful 1910 race to the South Pole between the Norwegian adventurer Roald Amundsen and the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott (sung by Rolando Villazón). Hampson also revisits the role of Danilo at the Lyric Opera in Chicago alongside Renée Fleming and returns to the role of Germont in La Traviata at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Highlights of Mr. Hampson’s concert engagements in 2015-16 include a special project with acclaimed percussionist Martin Grubinger and The Percussive Planet Ensemble. The repertoire ranges from George Crumb to Sinatra and Sting with concerts at the Philharmonie in Munich, the Konzerthaus in Wien, at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Heidelberger Frühling Festival. In March 2016 Hampson will travel for the first time to China for debut performances with the China Philharmonic Orchestra with Zhang Guoyong and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Long Yu. Touring projects include a tour in Germany and Poland with the NDR Sinfonieorchester and Krzysztof Urbanski and in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. He also returns to New York to sing Das Lied von der Erde with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert. Other performances include the War Requiem with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and Ian Bostridge under Kent Nagano and concerts with the Gewandhausorchester under Alexander Shelley, the Wiener Symphoniker under Vladimir Jurowski as well as the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas. The baritone will take his celebrated lieder recitals to the Wigmore Hall in London, the Konzerthaus Wien, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Heidelberger Frühling Festival and the Schubertiade Festival.
Through the Hampsong Foundation which he founded in 2003 he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding. Projects include his celebrated “Song of America” project, and the “Song: Mirror of the World” radio series. A passionate educator, Hampson will return for master classes at both the Manhattan School of Music’s Distance Learning Program and the Heidelberger Frühling’s Lied Academy, of which he is the co-founder and Artistic Director.
He has received many honors and awards for his probing artistry and cultural leadership. Comprising more than 150 albums, his discography includes winners of a Grammy Award, five Edison Awards, 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 Artist-in-Residence. In 2010 he was honored with a Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress, where he serves as Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music in America. Hampson was made honorary professor at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Heidelberg and holds honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Whitworth College, and San Francisco Conservatory, as well as being an honorary member of London’s Royal Academy of Music. He carries the titles of Kammersänger of the Vienna State Opera 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 2011 Hampson was again named ECHO Klassik’s “Singer of the Year,” marking the fourth time he has received that distinction over a 20-year period.