Washington, DC — On April 29, the Atlantic Council will host its 2009 annual Awards Dinner honoring select individuals for distinguished leadership in the political, military, business, and artistic communities. Thomas Hampson, the renowned American baritone, will receive the distinguished artistic leadership award and will also provide a special performance for dinner attendees.

The Atlantic Council established the artistic leadership award in 2008 to remind the Atlantic Community how art and the artist stand at the core of our shared values. A Washington State native, Hampson has lived and worked in both Europe and America for most of his professional career. He truly embodies the spirit of both the Atlantic Community and the award.

Thomas Hampson is among the world’s most celebrated, sought after singers performing on the stage today. He entered the top echelon of the musical world during the mid 1980s when he made concurrent debuts with the Zurich Opera, Vienna State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, along with celebrated performances and recordings with Leonard Bernstein. During the last 25 years he has performed 70 roles in a dozen languages including title roles in nearly every major opera house in the world. In addition to his operatic career, he is among the leading interpreters of the art song repertoire and regularly performs solo recitals in the European and American musical capitals, including recitals at the White House. Hampson can be heard on over 150 CD recordings and 20 DVDs and has received nearly every major recording award including the Grammy and Gramophone Awards, the Edison Prize for Lifetime achievement and the Echo Prize. A member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Republic of France, the Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst from the Republic of Austria and several honorary doctorates. Featured regularly on PBS and on European television Hampson has also produced television specials focused on the art of song as a narrative of our shared cultural experiences. As the Library of Congress’s Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music In America he collaborates with the Library on a joint initiative, the “Song of America” project, which highlights the importance of poetry and song in present-day American culture. Hampson is also a passionate single handicap golfer, a dog lover, and devotee of new technologies and media, especially those produced by Apple.

This year’s Atlantic Council Awards Dinner will also honor 41st President George H.W. Bush and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for their distinguished international leadership; U.S. Central Command Chief General David Petraeus for military leadership; and IBM Chairman, CEO, and President Samuel Palmisano for business leadership. The dinner commemorates two historic dates in transatlantic relations: the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, where President Bush and close ally Chancellor Kohl helped make the reunification of Germany and the peaceful end of the Cold War a reality, and the 60th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Both of these events contributed to a more whole and free Europe.

For media inquiries, please contact Peter Cassata at [email protected] or 202-778-4991. For reservation information, please contact Ania Voloshin at [email protected] or visit www.acus.org/awards.

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In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.

Thomas Hampson