The award, including an endowment of €10,000, honours personalities committed to teaching classical music.
Thomas Hampson will be awarded the 2020 Heidelberger Frühling Music Award. The award, which includes an endowment of €10,000 and will be presented at the eponymous music festival, honours the American baritone star’s decades of commitment to the ‘Kunstlied’ (art song).
The International Music Festival Heidelberger Frühling bestows the award each year to individuals who have made substantial and lasting contributions within the classical music education sector. The award is donated by HeidelbergCement, the founding partner of the Festival and its main sponsor since 1997. Previous winners include composer and clarinettist Jörg Widmann, music journalist Eleanore Büning, pianist and cultural manager Markus Hinterhäuser, baritone Christian Gerhaher, pianist Gabriela Montero and Artist Director of Wigmore Hall John Gilhooly. The award ceremony, part of Thomas Hampson’s 65th birthday celebrations, will be held in Berlin in autumn 2020.
The rationale for the award is as follows:
Thomas Hampson is an international ambassador of the Kunstlied: he is an outstanding performer, passionate teacher, musicological researcher and committed pioneer of digital learning. Through his extensive promotional and teaching activities, he has been instrumental both in making the Kunstlied the subject of an intercultural dialogue worldwide and in making this genre socially relevant. Since 2003, he and his Hampsong Foundation have been committed to advocating the ‘Lied’ (song) and establishing it as a contemporary genre. They do not merely address a select circle of experts, but rather the broader spectrum: from new talent to teachers, the various music institutions and an international audience. Thomas Hampson is invaluable in ensuring that the Lied remains an integral part of our culture in the future. For this reason, he will be awarded the Heidelberger Frühling music prize.
Dr Bernd Scheifele, Chairman of the Board, HeidelbergCement:
Thomas Hampson has built a lasting legacy throughout his unprecedented career. Of course, the first thing to come to mind is the Heidelberger Frühling’s Lied Academy, which owes its success largely to his efforts as artistic director. As a founding partner of the festival, HeidelbergCement would like to congratulate this exceptional artist and passionate teacher who continues to build bridges with his art.
Thomas Hampson, awardee:
I feel, of course, personally very honoured to receive the music prize, but above all I am very pleased, because it is a commitment to the genre of Lied. What the “Heidelberger Frühling” and the Heidelberg International Song Centre make possible here is of existential importance in order to keep this heritage alive and support its future. Our world needs more of those shelters in which people can dedicate themselves to the fundamental questions of human being.
The Music Festival Heidelberger Frühling will be held from 21 March to 24 April 2020. Well over 100 events—concerts, an international festival academy, several world premieres of commissioned works and a multimedia musical theatre production—have been included in the programme, which will be published on 18 October.
In this Beethoven-year, Thomas Hampson joins the Amsterdam Sinfonietta on tour to Moscow, France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Together they bring a loving musical program, featuring Beethoven’s pining song cycle An die ferne Geliebte, and new arrangements of songs by Richard Strauss. In the past, Mr. Hampson has joined Amsterdam Sinfonietta on tour in Europe, including appearances in the major concert halls of Dublin, Madrid, Vienna, and Lisbon. He also recently teamed up with the ensemble to create the acclaimed ‘Tides of Life’ CD, released by Channel Classics in 2017.
Thomas Hampson heads to the University of Michigan School of Music for his residency beginning on Sunday, February 2, with the “Song As Citizenship” Symposium in McIntosh Theatre. The free event will be led by Associate Dean Mark Clague, with panelists including Mr. Hampson, Lousie Toppin, Caroline Helton, Chrisie Finn, George Shirley, among others. The event explores the importance of music and song. Three SMTD vocalists will sing solo songs.
Thomas Hampson brings his “Song of America: Beyond Liberty” project to the Tucson Desert Song Festival and the Seattle Symphony this month, celebrating and exploring the influential people, poetry, and events that helped create and define “the land of the free.” Hampson will be accompanied by pianist Lara Downes and a diverse ensemble of exceptional musicians, the Beyond Liberty Players.
Thomas Hampson performs in a series of chamber music concerts, featuring pianist Yuja Wang and clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer, at the Bürgenstock Winter Festival in Switzerland this month. Marking the 8th Bürgenstock Winter Festival, this edition focuses on traditions, legacies, and anniversaries. Following the festival’s new tradition, they also depart from the purely classical and explore tunes from the American songbook with Mr. Hampson.
Continuing a new tradition, Thomas Hampson’s annual Schubert Week returns to the Pierre Boulez Saal this month. Hampson will open his curated week-long festival with a performance on January 13 of Winterreise, Schubert’s most celebrated song cycle, for which his longtime piano partner Wolfram Rieger joins him. Over six days, established as well as rising artists will take the stage, and Hampson will lead public workshops with students from the Lied Academy of the Heidelberger Frühling Festival.
Thomas Hampson returns to Teatro alla Scala for his greatly anticipated role debut as Altair in Strauss’ ravishing Die ägyptische Helena. Strauss and Hofmannsthal’s re-imagination of the Helen of Troy myth will feature a new production by Sven-Eric Bechtolf, with set design by Julian Crouch and costume design by Mark Bouman. This production marks the first time Die ägyptische Helena will be staged at La Scala.
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.