Thomas Hampson Resumes “Song of America” and Launches a Series of New Media Initiatives

On July 9, 2009 Thomas Hampson resumes the enthusiastically acclaimed “Song of America” project he developed with the Library of Congress and introduced in the 2005-06 season. This season’s national celebration additionally commemorates 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).

Drawing on the unparalleled collection of American songs housed at the Library of Congress, Hampson will present 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.

A dedicated web site, that will develop into a large-scale database of American composers, poets/writers, their songs, texts, and links to deeper resources will be launched in the early fall.

Hampson’s first two “Song of America” recitals this summer are in the heartland of Minnesota and Wisconsin (Winona, MN on July 9 and Williams Bay, WI on July 12), and then he continues to two festivals: Ravinia (July 16) and Tanglewood (July 22). In the fall, the concerts continue in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Santa Barbara, Boulder, Princeton and Atlanta.

A number of new media initiatives will be launched in conjunction with the concerts. Hampson is the first artist to launch his iPhone app (download FREE iTunes app), designed by Instant Encore. Furthermore, the recitals on July 9, 12 and 16 will be available for streaming through Instant Encore, and his new album “Wondrous Free – Song of America II” will be available through iTunes shortly.

On July 15, Hampson can be heard discussing the “Song of America” project and his new album live on WFMT.