Thomas Hampson's busy fall schedule

Thomas 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.

“A voice like oiled oak, capable of infinite tonal shadings, and a gift for storytelling possessed by few of his colleagues.” – Chicago Tribune

Hampson 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.

Hampson will be extraordinarily busy as the New York Philharmonic’s first Artist-in-Residence, taking part throughout the season in a wide range of activities that showcase his 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 Symphony 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.

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 Thomas
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, 2009
Philadelphia, PA
American Musicological Society Conference
“Song of America” recital
Craig 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


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