Press Room

Thomas Hampson’s 2009-10 season

Hampson’s new position as the New York Philharmonic’s first Artist-in-Residence
will be a centerpiece of his 2009-10 season, but the singular American baritone
opens his new U.S. season on the opposite coast with the San Francisco
Symphony Orchestra

on September 23.  Under his
frequent collaborator, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, he sings early songs by
Gustav Mahler, including the Songs of a Wayfarer, and records them for the SFSO’s
award-winning Mahler cycle.

follows up the four-concert Symphony series in San Francisco with the
continuation of his remarkable “Song of America” project, which this season celebrates the
250th anniversary of what is recognized to be the first song written
by an “American” (“My Days Have Been So Wondrous
Free,” composed in 1759 by Philadelphian Francis Hopkinson).  A companion CD, Wondrous Free, is currently available for
download at iTunes, and the CD will be available exclusively at
beginning September 15 (availability from other retailers will be announced
shortly).  Drawing on the
unparalleled collection of American songs housed at the Library of Congress, “The
Song of America” project brings together a unique series of recitals,
educational activities, exhibitions, recordings, cybercasts, and interactive
online resources.  Some recital
venues will have lobby exhibitions of facsimiles from music archives of the
Library, and joint efforts with local academic and cultural partners are
planned to give a wide range of listeners access to America’s history as told
through its rich array of song.

will be extraordinarily busy as the New York Philharmonic’s first
taking part throughout the season in a wide range of activities that showcase
his singular talents as performer, music enthusiast, and scholar.  Among the highlights this season, he
performs three programs with the orchestra, joining them in Europe under the
Philharmonic’s new music director, Alan Gilbert, on the latter’s first European
tour with the orchestra.  Hampson
also gives a recital in Alice Tully Hall this spring; master classes at the
Juilliard School; and three lectures entitled “Listening to Thought” in the
orchestra’s “Insight” series.  For
his commitment to educational activities, the Philharmonic recently named him
its Leonard Bernstein Scholar. 

Hampson’s first appearances with the New
York Philharmonic this season will be with Zemlinsky’s seldom-performed Lyric
under guest conductor Neeme Järvi, beginning on
November 5.  Hampson’s personal
research into the music and arts in Vienna at the turn of the 20th
century is reflected not only in his choice of repertoire, but also in his
ability to speak eloquently on his subjects of choice.  The first “Listening to Thought”
lecture, “Vienna’s Paradigm Shift,” takes place in early November (date TBA) at
Lincoln Center’s Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse.  The baritone
will explore the interplay of verbal and musical languages in vocal music,
focusing on experimentation and change in Vienna between the wars.

On New Year’s Eve, Hampson will join Gilbert and the
orchestra for performances of selections from favorite Broadway shows as well
as Aaron Copland’s beloved Old American Songs.
 Soon after, before departing on
the first European tour of the conductor’s tenure as music director of the New York
Philharmonic, Hampson will perform John Adams’s The Wound-Dresser
with Gilbert and the orchestra (Jan 14-16).  On January 11, he will give his second “Listening to
Thought” lecture.  It is also the
annual Erich Leinsdorf Lecture, which this season concerns the “Awakening of
the American Voice.”  Hampson’s
talk will emphasize Walt Whitman’s writings and influences on his own and later
generations of authors, poets, and composers.

Thomas Hampson’s operatic appearances
this season include three roles at Zurich Opera.  In addition to the current production
there of Verdi’s Ernani (Sep 4-13), he will encore the role
of Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca in February, and sing
the title role of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
in May.  He will give eight
performances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera
as Germont in
Verdi’s La traviata in March and April – alongside the
Violetta of Angela Gheorghiu and the Alfredo of the rapidly rising young tenor
star, James Valenti.  In June,
Hampson sings a single performance of Amfortas in Wagner’s Parsifal
at the Vienna State Opera and also performs at the company’s gala; both events
pay tribute to Ioan Holender, who completes his tenure as director of the
company this season.

Additional European engagements
on Hampson’s schedule include Mendelssohn’s Elijah with
Kurt Masur in Leipzig (Sep 17 and 18); a recital at Düsseldorf’s Robert
Schumann Festival in May, honoring the composer’s bicentennial; spring recitals
in Zurich, Dublin, and Berlin; and, on July 7, 2010, a special series of three
concerts – all on the same day – in Kaliste, Czech Republic.  Kaliste is the birthplace of composer Gustav
, who was born there on July 7, 1860, and the trio of
concerts that day will be televised internationally as an upbeat to the
worldwide celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the composer’s
birth.  Hampson has studied,
performed, and recorded the Austrian composer’s music extensively, and he will
be extremely busy with various Mahler-related activities throughout the
anniversary year.

Further highlights of Hampson’s American season include
a special gala concert with the Dallas Opera in October as part of the opening
festivities for its new Norman Foster-designed Winspear Opera House.  On November 19, Hampson will co-host
the Fifth Annual Opera News Awards with his colleague Susan
Graham.  The two were such an
engaging team last season that the Metropolitan Opera Guild, which publishes Opera
, invited them back to emcee an evening of both light
and serious tributes to “the best of the best” in the world of opera.  Hampson and Graham have each previously
won an Opera News Award.

season’s highlights included Hampson’s role debut as Scarpia in Tosca at the Zurich Opera, and his
critically acclaimed portrayals of Athanaël in Thaïs at the Metropolitan Opera, and Germont
in the stunning production of La traviata at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden – the two last
opposite Renée Fleming.  He also
took part in the gala opening nights of both the Metropolitan Opera, broadcast
live in HD worldwide, and Carnegie Hall, broadcast nationally on PBS.  Orchestral performance highlights
included Britten’s War Requiem with Antonio Pappano at London’s Royal Albert Hall and a
European tour with the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra.

Details of the artist’s engagements appear below, and
further information may be found at his website,

Thomas Hampson: selected 2009-10 engagements

Sep 4, 6, 11, and 13, 2009

Zurich, Switzerland

Verdi: Ernani (Don Carlos)

Sep 17 and 18, 2009

Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra / Kurt Masur

Mendelssohn: Elijah

Sep 23, 24, 25, and 26, 2009

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Symphony Orchestra / Michael Tilson

Gustav Mahler: “Ablösung im Sommer”; Lieder eines
fahrenden Gesellen
(“Songs of a Wayfarer”)

Sep 29, 2009

San Francisco, CA

“Song of America – A Diary”

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Free admission

Sep 30, 2009

San Francisco, CA

Recital – Herbst Theatre

“Song of America” recital

Wolfram Rieger, piano

Oct 3, 2009

Los Angeles, CA

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Recital for Los Angeles Opera (pianist TBA)

Oct 6, 2009

Portland, OR

Newmark Theatre

Friends of Chamber Music

“Song of America” recital

Pianist TBA

Oct 9, 2009

Santa Barbara, CA

Campbell Hall

“Song of America” recital

Wolfram Rieger, piano

Oct 11, 2009

Boulder, CO

Macky Auditorium, University of Colorado

“Song of America” recital

Wolfram Rieger, piano

Oct 15, 2009

Dallas, TX

Dallas Opera

Gala opening of Winspear Opera House

Oct 21, 2009

Richmond, VA

Modlin Center, University of Richmond

“Song of America” recital

Pianist TBA

Nov (date TBA), 2009

New York, NY

Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse

New York Philharmonic Lecture:

“Listening to Thought – Vienna’s Paradigm Shift”

Nov 5, 6, 7, and 10, 2009

New York, NY

Avery Fisher Hall

Zemlinsky: Lyric Symphony

with Hillevi Martinpelto, soprano

New York Philharmonic / Neeme Järvi

Nov 12,


Musicological Society Conference

“Song of
America” recital

Rutenberg, piano

Nov 17, 2009

Princeton, NJ

McCarter Theatre

“Song of
America” recital

Craig Rutenberg, piano

Nov 19, 2009

New York, NY

Gotham Hall

Fifth Annual Opera News Awards

Co-host (with Susan Graham)

Dec 31, 2009

New York, NY

Avery Fisher Hall

Gala New Year’s Eve Concert

Copland: Old American Songs

Selections from Broadway musicals

New York Philharmonic / Alan Gilbert

Jan 11,

New York,

Reade Theater

to Thought – Awakening of the American Voice

Leinsdorf Lecture

New York

Jan 14-16,

New York,

New York
Philharmonic / Alan Gilbert

John Adams:
The Wound-Dresser

Jan 22,


New York
Philharmonic European tour begins (through Feb 3; cities/dates TBA)

Gilbert, conductor

Feb 19, 2010

Atlanta, GA

Emory University

Emerson Concert Hall

“Song of America” recital

Pianist TBA

Feb 24, 26, and 28, 2010

Zurich, Switzerland

Puccini: Tosca – Scarpia

Mar 29; Apr 3, 7, 10, 13, 17, 21, and 24, 2010

New York, NY

Metropolitan Opera

Verdi: La traviata – Germont

Apr 5, 2010

New York, NY

Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse

“Listening to Thought – A Guide to German Romanticism”

Apr 11, 2010

New York, NY

Recital at Alice Tully Hall, presented by the New York

Apr 16 and 17, 2010

New York, NY

New Music Chamber Recital

New York Philharmonic

May 2, 6,12, and 14, 2010

Zurich, Switzerland

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
(title role)

Opernhaus Zürich

May 10, 2010

Zurich, Switzerland

Recital TBA

May 20, 2010

Düsseldorf, Germany

Robert Schumann Festival


Wolfram Rieger, piano

May 30, 2010

Dublin, Ireland


Wolfram Rieger, piano

Jun 1, 2010

Berlin, Germany


Wolfram Rieger, piano

Jun 4, 2010

St. Petersburg, Russia

White Nights Festival


Jun 11-13, 2010

Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Jun 20, 2010

Mannheim, Germany

Gala TBA

Jun 26, 2010

Vienna, Austria

Vienna State Opera Gala

Jun 30, 2010

Vienna, Austria

Wagner: Parsifal – Amfortas

Jul 7, 2010

Kaliste, Czech Republic

Mahler Sesquicentennial Celebration

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© 21C Media Group, September 2009

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