Media Release Friday 10th January 2014
American ‘Ambassador of Song’, Thomas Hampson to sing for Irish audiences at the National Concert Hall
“Hampson is indecently gifted. He commands a probing mind, a keen imagination, a lyric baritone of remarkable suavity, and, yes, a useful aura of matinée-idol magnetism” Financial Times (2012)
On Wednesday 29 January 2014 celebrated American baritone Thomas Hampson returns to Ireland with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta (now celebrating its tenth anniversary season) as part of their 12-stop European tour together. Recognised as one of the most formidable interpreters of German romantic song, Hampson brings his enduring artistry to works by Schönberg, Brahms, Schubert, Wolf and Barber for this special concert as part of the National Concert Hall’s International Concert Series 2013/2014.
Inducted to Gramophone’s 2013 Hall of Fame, Hampson was also honoured as a Metropolitan Opera Guild Met Mastersinger, presented with the first Venetian Heritage Award (2013) and won the Concertgebouw Prize (2011). This year also marks the year he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of his thoughtfully researched and creatively constructed programmes that explore the rich repertoire of song. Through his foundation The Hampsong Foundation, he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding. It is perhaps because of his celebrated ‘Song of America’ project - a collaboration with the Library of Congress – that he has become known as the ‘Ambassador of American Song’.
Hampson opened the 13/14 concert season with performances of Eisler’s Ernste Gesänge with the Staatskapelle Dresden (Sept. 1-9). Other orchestral collaborations included programmes of arias and duets with Luca Pisaroni in Prague, Bratislava, Baden-Baden and Essen and selections from Mahler’s Des knaben Wunderhorn with the BBC Scottish Symphony in Glasgow (Sept. 19) and Perth (Sept. 20). For his 12-stop European Tour with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta of which his performance in Dublin is one, he performs in Munich, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Gstaad, Madrid, Lisbon and more (Jan. 25-9 Feb.)
On the recital stage, Hampson joined forces with his regular pianist Wolfram Rieger for Liederabend programmes in London’s Wigmore Hall (Sept 14), the Leipzig Gewandhaus (Sept. 17), Coburg’s Lied un Lyrik Festival (Sept. 23) as well as Heidelberg (Dec. 20), Bern (Dec. 23) and Brussels (Jan. 11).
2013/2014 has proven busy for Hampson as he launched the operative season in a revival of the Vienna State Opera’s Simon Boccanegra by Verdi (Sept. 27- 4 Oct.), coinciding with the release of his new Decca set. He also gave his first performance as Berg’s Wozzeck at the Metropolitan Opera (March 6-22) and sang the signature Verdi role of Giorgio Germont in La Traviata at the Bavarian State Opera (Dec. 31 -6 Jan. ‘14). Wagner’s Parsifal featured on the singer’s schedule with a performance at the Met, after which he graced the production of the opera at Chicago’s Lyric Opera (Nov. 9-29). The same piece was the chosen by Hampson for his first US performances of the season in Washington DC with the National Symphony Orchestra for a concert version of the Opera’s final act at the Kennedy Center (Oct. 10-12).
In a year that marked significant composer centennials and bicentennials, Hampson also found time to pay tribute to Benjamin Britten with a recording of the composer’s War Requiem, a landmark work of the 20th century.
The International Concert Series 2013/2014 is supported by The Irish Times. This concert is kindly supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Schönberg Verklärte Nacht
Brahms* Four Serious Songs Op. 121
Barber Dover Beach Op. 3
Wolf Italienische Serenade
Schubert* An die Leier D 737, Op. 56
Schubert Memnon D 541, Op. 6
Wolf Auf einer Wanderung
Schubert** Geheimes D 719, Op. 14
Wolf Der Rattenfänger
*Orchestration/arrangement by David Matthews
**Orchestration by Brahms
Tickets: €65, €55, €45, €35 (€25 Choir Balcony)
National Concert Hall Box Office Tel: 01 417 00 00 or www.nch.ie
For further information please contact: Sinead Doyle, Marketing & PR Manager, National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 417 0057 / 087 1775334