You cannot but feel humbled.
Ahead of Thomas Hampson’s upcoming November performance at the Hangzhou Grand Theatre, the baritone sat down with that’s China to discuss music, life, his roots and much more...
that's: Will your November concert be the first time for you to visit Hangzhou and your first collaboration with the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra? What do you think of the city and its musical milieu?
Thomas Hampson: This is my second visit to China and my first visit to Hangzhou. I’m afraid I have not been here long enough to properly answer your question. I very much look forward to my first rehearsal with the orchestra which has a very fine reputation. Your city is very impressive. that’s: Do you still remember the moment of ‘awakening’ in your music learning years? What’s the best of what you have learnt from Horst Günter, whom you call “a lifelong mentor”?
Thomas Hampson: I think an artist has many “awakenings” as you refer to it, in the maturing of their musical years. I have been influenced by several major conductors and teachers of course, perhaps one of the most important lessons is that however detailed and long the study and preparation may be ; when you are making music all of this and all of you goes into that one moment of musical thought. « Everything for one moment »… Is perhaps the best way to describe it. that’s: You spearheaded the first-ever live streaming classical music available on a mobile app in 2010. How was the master class received ?
Thomas Hampson: That was a very exciting project. It was extraordinary to have, even at that very early stage, over 1000 people in several countries walking down the street looking at their iPhone watching a master class. We got marvelous feedback and have proceeded, especially at the Manhattan School of Music and the Heidelberg Lied Akadamy with more digital education possibilities. that’s: The rise of streaming and new web technologies has brought about both opportunities, with the chance to reach out to wider audiences, and challenges, for musicians to still generate an income. How do you