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Biography

American baritone Thomas Hampson is among the world’s most celebrated, sought after singers performing on the stage today. His “beautiful, lyric baritone voice, smooth and supple”, according to Time, can be heard on nearly 200 recordings of lieder, opera, oratorio and works for voice and orchestra. As aleading advocate of the study of American song, he collaborates on song projects with academic and cultural partners through the Hampsong Foundation (www.hampsong.org), to promote the art of song in intercultural understanding. In 2008 he was named the Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music In America by The Librarian of Congress, Dr. James H. Billington.  

Hampson begins his 2011-12 season at San Francisco Opera, where he will create the role of Rick Rescorla in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’s Heart of a Soldier. The new opera, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, features a libretto by Donna Di Novelli and is directed by Francesca Zambello. Based on the 2002 book by James B. Stewart, the work is inspired by the true story of Rescorla, his wife, Susan, and his friend Daniel J. Hill, culminating in Rescorla’s tragic death in the collapse of the South Tower of the World Trade Center following his heroic evacuation of all 2,700 employees of Morgan Stanley. Hampson’s other operatic engagements this season include Iago in Verdi’s Otello and the title role in Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler, both at Zurich Opera, and Verdi’s Macbeth at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Among other season highlights for Hampson are the opening night gala concert with Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra, marking two anniversaries: the orchestra’s 80th and the Kennedy Center’s 40th; 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 Dvorák’s Biblical Songs with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck; and recitals in the U.S., Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Austria (Vienna’s Musikverein), including “Song of America” programs in New York and Cologne. The 2011-12 season will also see the debut of the syndicated “Song of America” radio series, co-produced by the Hampsong Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network of Chicago for release in October. Hosted by Hampson, the series will consists of 13 one-hour programs exploring the history of American culture through song, bringing the “Song of America” project to a national audience of radio listeners.

In addition to his performance activity, Mr. Hampson is a committed teacher, a serious golfer who is regularly ranked in Golf Digest and a technologist who recently launched his own digital-only record label. For more information please visit www.thomashampson.com.

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