Hampson as Ambassador of American Song
By Song of America
9/21/09: San Jose Mercury News (Sue Gilmore)
America’s best-known baritone, now in town helping Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony wrap up their long-running Gustav Mahler recording project, is indeed one of the world’s preeminent interpreters of that pensive German Romantic’s rich vocal canon. But when the last strains of the “Songs of the Wayfarer” have died away in Davies Hall on Saturday, Thomas Hampson will cross metaphorical continents and switch gears for another project that is every bit as dear to his heart and a lot closer to his own cultural heritage.
On Sept. 30, Hampson opens San Francisco Performances’ new season in the Herbst Theatre with pianist Wolfram Rieger in a “Song of America” recital. It’s a stop on his second cross-country tour, a continuation of the collaboration he launched with the Library of Congress in 2005 to document, record and celebrate the enormous diversity of 250 years of American song.