He is a baritone, actor and teacher born in Elkhart, Indiana and raised in Spokane, Washington. He studied at Fort Wright College, Spokane, and Eastern Washington University and took tutorage in voice from Sr. Marietta Coyle.
When he was 19 he started out on his career by performing in Hansel and Gretel. This would lead to taking further studies followed by a move to Europe where he would become part of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf, Germany. He was there from 1980 until 1984, when he joined the Zurich Opera.
Becoming interested in ieder and also the art songs of American composers he arranged a tour of that repertoire. He met Leonard Bernstein in his later life and following that meeting he would use this experience to help him to become one of Gustav Mahler’s most recognised interpreters.
In 2003 he established the Hampsong Foundation to provide archives of his work, promote art song, assist young artists, give research material and masterclasses and bring the world of music to a worldwide audience.
He was elected into the American Academy if Arts and Sciences in 2010.
An acclaimed singer he has appeared at many of the world’s great opera houses as well as in musical theatre and has appeared on many acclaimed recordings, including a Grammy Award and Grand Prix du Disque winner. The recipient of several honours he has been awarded the Austrian Honorary Medal for Science and Art, been entitled Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, received an honorary membership in the Royal Academy of Music and several honorary doctorates.
The Abbey Road Ensemble recordings
Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson)
EMI 56176 (CD: Our Christmas Songs For You)
Conductor – Jonathan Tunick
Soprano – Kiri Te Kanawa
Tenor – Roberto Alagna
Baritone – Thomas Hampson
Thomas Hampson recordings
Adeste Fidelis (John Francis Wade)
Teldec 9031-73135 (CD: Christmas with Thomas Hampson)
Arranger – Thomas Pasatieri
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Conductor – Hugh Wolff
Here he is singing “Largo al Factotum” from Rossini’s Barber of Seville…