Thomas Hampson, Eastern Washington’s homegrown international opera star, was the last person to perform at the Fox Theater in 2005 before it went dark and began extensive renovations. He returned in 2007 for the inaugural season of the restored facility, and again in 2009 to perform the world premiere of Michael Daugherty’s “Letters From Lincoln.”
His roots at the Fox actually run much further back – to the 1970s – and to a specific place – the theater’s balcony.
As a high school student at Upper Columbia Academy in Spangle, a reward for good grades was a trip to the Fox to see the Spokane Symphony perform, back when the theater primarily was a movie house.
“It sounded like a very cultural activity,” Hampson said in a recent phone interview from London, “but it was one of the few times you could sit with your girlfriend.” He added, chuckling, “So there were a lot of motivations involved. I must say that being in the balcony … some of the first symphonic works I’d ever heard in my life played by a symphonic orchestra were in the Fox Theater with the Spokane Symphony.”
After high school, Hampson, who was raised in the Tri-Cities, received his operatic training at Eastern Washington University and with Sister Marietta Coyle at Fort Wright College. He proudly proclaims his allegiance the Spokane Symphony Chorale, of which he is a founding member.
Read more via The Spokesman-Review
Thomas Hampson and pianist Martha Argerich will take the stage for their first-ever joint performance on June 30. The concert will take place during the new week-long Martha Argerich Festival, hosted by the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, featuring Ms. Argerich in concert with internationally renowned colleagues.
Thomas Hampson caps off the month of June with engagements in Austria and Germany. On June 21 & 22 at the Gewandhaus Leipzig, Hampson will perform with clarinetist Jörg Widmann and the Gewandhaus Orchester under the baton of Andris Nelsons. The concert will feature a program of Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Copland’s Old American Songs, Carter’s Konzert für Klarinette und Orchester, and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.
This June, Thomas Hampson makes his debut in Australia with events hosted in Melbourne and Sydney. He presents a sold-out master class on May 30 at the Melbourne Recital Centre, followed by recitals on May 31 at the Melbourne Recital Centre as well as June 3 at the Sydney Opera House, Hampson and pianist Maciej Pikulski will perform works by Mahler, Schubert, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, Copland and others. Hampson and Pikulski collaborated on Hampson’s first French song album titled “Serenade” released in 2017. You can find purchase links and additional details for “Serenade” via his Recordings.
Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Messiaen Le Tombeau Resplendissant
R. Strauss Tod und Verklärung
Thomas Hampson travels to Geneva this month for a concert with flutist Roy Amotz and the Geneva Camerata under David Greilsammer. On May 22 at the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Switzerland, Hampson and Roy Amotz with the GECA ensemble will perform music by Charpentier, Mahler, Mozart, Porter, Beethoven, and the world premiere of Nicola Von Ritter-Zahony’s new Concerto for Flute and Orchestra. This new work was commissioned by the Geneva Camerata, and the event marks Hampson’s first concert with the innovative ensemble.
This year marks the 100th birthday of the celebrated conductor and composer, Leonard Bernstein. On May 19, Thomas Hampson and his long-time collaborator Wolfram Rieger present a concert at the Philharmonie Essen in celebration of the centennial. Hampson and Bernstein cultivated an artistic friendship from their dedication of interpreting the works of Gustav Mahler, which led to legendary performances of both composers’ work. The program for the concert in Germany will include selections by Mahler and Bernstein.
Thomas Hampson will be in Bulgaria for a concert on May 16 with the Sofia Philharmonic. Under the baton of Pavel Balev, the program will feature arias and overtures by Mozart, Porter, Verdi, Bernstein, and Lehár. Hampson and Maestro Balev have collaborated in many concerts over the years, most recently this past February at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.