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The American baritone Thomas Hampson, who grew up in Spokane, Washington, studied voice with Marietta Coyle, Martial Singher, Horst Günther, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. He began his career in 1981 as a member of the ensemble of Deutsche Oper am Rhein nach Düsseldorf before taking up an engagement with Zurich Opera in 1984, where he maintains a close connection. Hampson’s extensive repertoire ranges from Gluck and Mozart through bel canto operas, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and Strauss to works by Britten, Hindemith, and Szymanowski. He has appeared at all the great opera houses and at the leading international festivals. In the 2012-13 season, for example, he sang Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Giorgio Germont (La traviata) at the Vienna Staatsoper, Iago (Otello) at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Scarpia (Tosca) and Wolfram (Tannhäuser) in Zurich. He also appeared in the jubilee gala celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and sang orchestral lieder by Strauss with the London Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, as well as Ives songs with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Hampson ranks among the most sought-after lieder interpreters of our time, performing recitals that follow a thematically guiding principle. He is also involved in the scholarly research and compilation of the lieder repertoire, as seen in his Song of America project and the Hampsong Foundation. In 2011 Hampson became artistic director of the newly created Lied Academy at the Heidelberg Spring Festival. A large portion of his more than 150 recordings has won such international awards as the Grammy, Edison, Grand Prix du Disque, and Echo Klassik awards. Thomas Hampson is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music and has been awarded many other honors.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 19 March 2005, when he sang Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen in a concert by the BR Symphony Orchestra led by Mariss Jansons.