Contact: Erin Allen, Library of Congress (202) 707-7302
Contact: Jessica Lustig, 21C Media Group (646) 489-6230

October 28, 2010

Baritone Thomas Hampson to Receive Living Legend Award

The Library of Congress will honor baritone Thomas Hampson with its Living Legend medal during a concert on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Hampson, with pianist Wolfram Rieger, will celebrate the birth anniversaries of Samuel Barber and Gustav Mahler, as well as offering a selection of American favorites.

"I am deeply honored and grateful to receive this award. As an American artist, it is humbling to be acknowledged and appreciated in this way by the Library of Congress and contribute to the great and passionate dialogue of arts, humanities and performing arts in the United States," said Hampson.

The Library’s Living Legend award is given to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to America’s diverse cultural, scientific and social heritage. The first awards were given in 2000 in connection with the Library’s bicentennial celebration, to honor Americans whose creative contributions to American life have made them living legends. Hampson, who has already been honored by the Library with the title of "Special Advisor for the Study and Performance of Music in America," will be the 101st recipient of the award.

Other recipients of the award include artists, writers, filmmakers, physicians, entertainers, sports figures, public servants and musicians—among them Madeleine Albright, Katharine Graham, B.B. King, John Werner Kluge, Alan Lomax, I.M Pei, Sally Ride, Martin Scorsese, Pete Seeger and Yo Yo Ma.

"I cannot think of a more qualified, accomplished, or passionate ambassador for the Library of Congress, or a more deserving recipient of the Library’s 101st Living Legend award, than Thomas Hampson," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

Hampson has performed nearly 70 roles, including the title roles from "Don Giovanni," "Il Barbiere di Siviglia," "Guillaume Tell," "Macbeth," "Simon Boccanegra," "Eugene Onegin," Massenet’s "Werther," Busoni’s "Doktor Faust," Szymanowski’s "King Roger" and Britten’s "Billy Budd." He’s taken the stage at the Metropolitan Opera, the Zurich Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco Opera, the Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and many other leading opera houses of the world.

Hampson’s honors include a Grammy, the Grand Prix du Disque, a Lifetime Achievement Award Edison Prize, and awards from the Gramphone, Echo Klassik, Opera News’ Award for distinguished achievement and Musical America’s "Vocalist of the Year." In 2009 he received the Atlantic Council’s "Award for Distinguished Artistic Leadership and was recently elected a member of the America Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also Artistic Director and Founder of the Heidelberg Lied Academy in Germany and Distinguished Visiting Artist at Manhattan School of Music.

In 2005, Hampson worked with the Library of Congress to launch the "Song of America" concert tour, with a second season opening in 2009. Drawing on the unparalleled collection of American songs housed at the Library, Hampson presented a unique series of recitals, educational activities, exhibitions, recordings, webcasts and interactive online resources. Since the launch of "Song of America," Hampson has performed the concert repertoire in 22 of the 50 United States and in 13 nations across Europe, including a world-premiere performance and first-ever televised broadcast from Spaso House, the famed residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, located in Moscow.

The ticket supply for Thursday’s concert, via Ticketmaster, has been exhausted; however, there are often some seats available for sold-out concerts at start time. Interested patrons are strongly encouraged to come to the Library by 6:30 p.m. to join the standby line for no-show tickets.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

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PR 10-245
10/28/10
ISSN 0731-3527

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