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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 11, 2004

Hampson Will Sing Dvorak Songs In Czech During Oct. 29 Hancher Concert

American Baritone Thomas Hampson, one of the world's leading singers of the art-song repertoire, will sing groups of songs by Robert Schumann and Antonin Dvorak, and American art and folk songs, including settings of poetry by Walt Whitman, at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29 in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

Of special interest in eastern Iowa, with its large Czech population, will be Hampson's Dvorak songs, sung in the original Czech. Homesick during his sojourn in America, Dvorak spent the summer of 1893 in the Czech village of Spillville in northeastern Iowa.

The Whitman songs reflect Hampson's particular interest in the communicative power of poetry, documented in his CD of Whitman settings, "To the Soul."

He will be accompanied by pianist Craig Rutenberg, who has not only performed  with vocal soloists but also served as a vocal coach with opera companies and festivals in both the United States and Europe.

Hampson is renowned not only as one of today's most beautiful voices, but as a musical heart-throb, who has been dubbed "Thomas Handsome." Part of his romantic appeal is his ability to movingly tell stories through song in ways that audiences find extremely touching.

He is also known for his versatility, performing in opera, operetta, musical, oratorio and recital, as well as his achievements in the fields of recording, research and pedagogy. In recital, Hampson is considered exemplary, especially with his interpretation of the art-song repertoire.

This month alone he is performing "Don Giovanni" in Tokyo, presenting the world premiere of Richard Danielpour's "Songs of Solitude" in Philadelphia and participating in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's 50th Anniversary Gala, in addition to his recitals at Hancher and in Atlanta.

In addition to his teaching and research activities, he has designed multi-media projects including "Voices from the Heart," a documentary on the music of Stephen Foster and "I Hear America Singing," an acclaimed anthology about the intricate cultural contexts of American song.

In 2003 Hampson founded the HAMPSONG-FOUNDATION, which aims to promote research projects, symposia, master classes, debuts and lecture concerts around the world. Under the HAMPSON label, the foundation will release the key classical and romantic song repertoire in the form of a multi-media guide.

Hampson holds honorary doctorates from Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash., and the San Francisco Conservatory, and he has been made an honorary member of London's Royal Academy of Music. He has been given the titles of Kammersaenger by the Vienna State Opera and Chevalier de l´ordre des arts et des letters by the Republic of France, and he has received an award from the National Arts Club of America given for his achievements in the fields of music and education.

Most recently Hampson, who resides in Vienna, was awarded the Austrian Honorary Medal for Science and Arts.

Almost all of Hampson's recordings have received awards, including six Grammy nominations, two Nederlands Edison Prizes, two Prix du Disque, three Gramophone Awards, the Grand Prix de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque, the Prize de Charles Cors Académie du Disque Lyrique, the Echo Deutscher Schallplattenpreis and the Cannes Classical Award.

Hampson was EMI Artist of the Year 1997, and his recording of "Tannhauser" received the Grammy Award in 2002 for Best Opera Recording.

William and Marlene Stanford are sponsors of the Hampson concert, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $45/40/35; UI student $45.50/15; senior citizen $45.50/36/31.50; youth $31.50/28/24.50.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website: <http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu>.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <hancher-box-office@uiowa.edu>.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu.

PHOTOS are available at http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher/media.html.