University of Pittsburgh
January 13, 1999

BARITONE THOMAS HAMPSON TO PERFORM AT PITT Concert Benefits Pitt's Center for American Music


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 14 -- Thomas Hampson, America's leading opera baritone and featured performer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, will return to the University of Pittsburgh campus Feb. 8 and 9 to perform in a gala benefit concert and to hold a master class for the area's top voice students.

The concert takes place Monday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. at Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland -- an event that benefits the University of Pittsburgh Center for American Music and the Recital Series of the Y Music Society, a component of the Jewish Community Center.

The concert program, "Voices From The Heartlands: Music From America's Heritage," was created just for this performance, and is partly based on the Stephen Foster collection at Pitt. Hampson became enamored with Foster's music several years ago when a New York book dealer showed him an award-winning scholarly edition of Foster's work, prepared at the University of Pittsburgh. The singer immediately added the music to his repertoire. The program will also feature songs and arias of many other American and German-born composers, reflecting life from this region of the country over the last 150 years. Hampson will be accompanied on the piano by Craig Rutenberg of New York, with whom he has frequently collaborated on recordings.

In addition, Hampson will conduct a master class Tuesday, Feb. 9 from

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Alumni Concert Hall in the College of Fine Arts Building on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University, Oakland. Hampson, a six-time Grammy nominee and referred to by the Wall Street Journal as the "world's first super-baritone," will coach four of the most advanced voice students from this region on voice coloring, breath control, phrasing, dynamics and interpretation of the text. The event is free and open to the public.

Hampson, whose only other appearance in Pittsburgh was a July 1996 recital at Pitt, has won numerous international awards for his work, including the Cannes Classical Male Singer of the Year, the Classic Music Awards Male Singer of the Year and Musical America's Vocalist of the Year.

Ticket prices for the Hampson concert are as follows:

Premier $250

Recital ticket; invitation to private party to meet Mr. Hampson Sunday, February 7; invitation to post-performance reception with Mr. Hampson; CD autographed by Mr. Hampson; name included in concert program.

Patron $125

Recital ticket; invitation to post-performance reception with Mr. Hampson; CD autographed by Mr. Hampson; name included in concert program.

Sponsor $75

Recital ticket

Invitation to post-performance reception with Mr. Hampson.

General $40

Recital ticket

Student $7

Must be accompanied by a student ID.

Hampson's performance is part of the 73rd consecutive season of the Y Music Society, which presents to Pittsburgh audiences the world's leading musical talent in the intimate setting of a concert recital. For more information or to order tickets, please call 412-521-8011, Ext. 849.