Since I heard my first notes of Gustav Mahler’s music when I was barely 20 — on a tape-deck in my car — I have sung, studied, researched and recorded his music. Mahler has had a profound impact on me personally, and as an artist. His music is a touchstone for my life. Mahler, whose 150th birthday is celebrated on July 7, 2010, told us that all of life should be able to be heard in a symphony. True to this all-inclusive spirit, his music encompasses all of the tragedy and trivia of life, as well as its countless beauties. (Thomas Hampson begins a season-long tribute to Mahler with a live webcast from Mahler’s birth-house, Wed July 7 at 9 a.m. EDT.)

NPR: Thomas Hampson’s Hand-Picked Mahler

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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