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Christoph Eschenbach conducts Beethoven


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Christoph Eschenbach leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in its traditional season-ending performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with soprano Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, tenor Joseph Kaiser, baritone Thomas Hampson, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

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Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
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Born in Breslau , Germany (today Wroclaw, Poland), Christoph Eschenbach studied piano with Professor Eliza Hansen and won in his young age numerous piano competitions. In 1965 the first prize of the Clara Haskil competition in Luzern was the original event of his soloist carrier. In demand worldwide by famous concert halls and orchestras, he met George Szell who invited him to tour with the Cleveland orchestra. In the same period Christoph Eschenbach developped a great artistic collaboration with Herbert von Karajan as well.

Successful conducting studies passed in Hamburg and the influence of Szell and Karajan, the two mentors, naturally led him to initiate his carrier as a conductor. He began in 1972, and made his debut in the USA in 1975 with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

Nowadays Christoph Eschenbach is in demand as a distinguished guest conductor with the finest orchestras and opera houses throughout the world (Vienna, Berlin, Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Shanghai, Rome, Milan, Dresden, Leipzig, Münich, Amsterdam, etc.) as well as prestigious festivals (Salzbourg, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Saint Petersbourg, Granada, Rheingau, Schleswig Holstein, ect.).

His grand classic repertoire is ranging from J.S. Bach to music of our time and reflects his commitment to not just canonical works but also to the music of the late 20th and early-21st-century.

In the field of opera, he has conducted Cosi fan tutte at Covent Garden in 1984 and at the Houston Opera, as well as the Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, Der Rosenkavalier, Lohengrin, Parsifal (staged by Robert Wilson), Salome and Elektra, (staged by Andrei Serban), Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival and at the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg. In November 2001, Arabella at the New York Metropolitan and Don Giovanni (staged by Peter Stein) in 2004 for the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Lyric Opera. During the 2005/2006 season, he has conducted at the Théâtre du Châtelet a production of Wagner's Ring des Nibelung, staged by Robert Wilson. In December 2010 he has conducted with great success Mathis der Maler by Paul Hindemith at the Opera Paris Bastille. More recently, he inaugurated the Mozart / Da Ponte cycle at the Salzburg Summer Festival with Cosi fan tutte in 2013 and Don Giovanni in 2014. That same season, he has also conducted Idomeneo at the Vienna State Opera.

Christoph Eschenbach has been the Music Director of the Tonhalle-Gesellschaft in Zurich from 1982 to 1986, of the Houston Symphony Orchestra from 1988 to 1999 and of the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg from 1998 to 2004. After ten years as Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris from September 2000 to August 2010, and four years for the Philadelphia Orchestra, from September 2003 to 2008, he became in September 2010 Music Director of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well as the Washington National Symphony.

To his important discography as a pianist should be added numerous recordings at the head of the Houston Symphonic Orchestra, the Hamburg NDR Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra (Tchaïkovski, Mahler, Saint-Saëns, Bartok), the Orchestre de Paris with Berlioz, Bruckner, Dusapin, Berio, Ravel, Dalbavie, Zemlinsky, Roussel (the complete symphonies), Beethoven (the Piano Concertos n. 1 and 4, nominated for the 2009 Grammy Awards) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Bruckner, Symphony n. 6, Beethoven, Missa Solemnis, Messiaen, Des Canyons aux Etoiles). The Complete Symphonies by Mahler recorded with the Orchestre de Paris is watchable in streaming on his website. His last recording with the Washington NSO was issued for the 50th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center. After the recent release of Die schöne Müllerin, the Schwanengesang and the Winterreise recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Christoph Eschenbach and Matthias Goerne are continuing their fructuous collaboration and regularly perform in recitals of voice and piano, presenting the cycles of Lieder by Schubert, Brahms and Schumann.

For Christoph Eschenbach, to transmit and to discover are fundamental activities, this is why he regularly holds master-classes (Manhattan School of Music, Kronberg Academy, CNSM of Paris) and collaborates with summer academies and youth orchestras such as the Schleswig Holstein Academy Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (GMJO), the Curtis Institute...

Christoph Eschenbach has received the 2014 Grammy Award for his recording of works by Hindemith performed with the NDR Symphony Orchestra and the violinist Midori.

He had the honor to be named Chevalier of the French Légion d'Honneur in January 2003, Officer of the National Order of Merit in May 2006 and decorated with the Order of Merit of the Federal Rebublic of Germany. He has been made French Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and has received the Leonard Bernstein award of the Pacific Music Festival. In June 2015 he received the Ernst von Siemens music Awards (described as the « Nobel Price for Music ») in honour of his life 's dedication to music.

Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, soprano
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German soprano Hanna-Elisabeth Müller had her first singing lessons when she was 11. She studied under Rudolf Piernay at the University of Music Mannheim, with whom she continues to work closely, following her graduation as a soloist. She applied the finishing touches to her training by attending master-classes by  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau Julia Varady Edith Wiens Elly Ameling Thomas Hampson and Wolfram Rieger. She won prizes at the national music competition 'Jugend Musiziert' on a number of occasions and received a scholarship from the 'Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes', from the Zukunftsinitiative Rheinland-Pfalz, the Yehudi Menuhin 'Live Music Now' Organization, the Paula-und-Albert Salomon-Stiftung, and the des Richard-Wagner-Verband Heidelberg. In 2009, together with the pianist Mihaela Tomi she won first prize at the Internationaler Lied-Duo-Wettbewerb in Enschede, as well as the prize for the best performance of the obligatory modern piece, and the audience prize. In 2010 she won the Musikpreis des Kulturkreises der deutschen Wirtschaft.

In 2011 at the International Ada Sari Competition she won not only first prize, but all the other prizes open to her at the event: the Mozart Prize, the Lied Prize and the opportunity to give concerts with the Krakow Opera and the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra.

Following first guest performances as Eurydike in Gluck's  Orpheus and Eurydice at the Kammeroper Rheinsberg - 'Eurydice outclassed everyone else in stage presence: With her clear, yet expressive soprano, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller created the most touching moments of the evening' Opernglas, June 2010 - she was a member of the Bavarian State Opera's studio during the 2010-2011 season. In 2012 she made her debut at the Teatro dell'opera di Roma as Pamina. Since the 2012-2013 season she has been a member of the ensemble of the Bavarian State Opera, where she can be heard in such disparate roles as Pamina, Zerlina, Susanna, Servilia or as Gretel, Hüter der Schwelle in  Frau ohne Schatten and outstandingly as Infantin Donna Clara in Zemlinsky's  Der Zwerg. In 2013, as a member of the ensemble, she received the Festival Prize of the Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Münchner Opernfestspiele (Society of Friends of the Munich Opera Festival).

In 2014, she was fêted as the discovery of the Salzburg Easter Festival for her sensational debut as Zdenka alongside  Renée Fleming and  Thomas Hampson under the baton of Christian Thielemann. In the new Munich production of Richard Strauss's  Arabella under  Philippe Jordan, too, she will be slipping into this role during the 2015 season, before making her local and role debut the following autumn as Sophie in a new production of Strauss's  Rosenkavalier in Amsterdam, this time under Marc Albrecht.

The versatile young soprano is also a regular performer in recitals and concerts, if her busy opera activity leaves her enough time. Her concert repertoire reaches from  J.S. Bach's secular cantatas to  The Creation by Haydn to  L.v. Beethoven's  Missa solemnis or  Gustav Mahler's  Symphony No 4, all of which she performed at the  Bachwoche Ansbach, with the  RIAS-Kammerchor , on tours with the Orchestre des Champs Elysées under  Philippe Herreweghe, the  Oregon Bach Festival under  Helmuth Rilling and at the European Music Festival in Stuttgart under Michael Sanderling. In 2013 she worked for the first time with Robin Ticciati and the  Bamberger Symphoniker (Bruckner's F-minor Mass - a project that has been released on CD by Tudor). In the coming season, she will be a guest with the  WDR Sinfonieorchester Kölnunder  Jukka-Pekka Saraste (concerts and CD with  Johannes Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem) and the  Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester under Sir  Simon Rattle (Rheingold/Woglinde).

Since her Lieder debut at the Heidelberger Frühling in 2011, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller has been a guest with Wolfram Rieger at the Schubertiade Vilabertran, with Juliane Ruf at the Schwetzingen Festival, at the Philharmonie in Cologne, and in De Singel in Antwerp. She will be opening the coming season with a CD production (Hänssler) with Lieder by Strauss,  Alban Berg and  Arnold Schoenberg. Lieder recitals will take her to the Rheinvokal Festival, the Philharmonie in Essen, and once again to the Heidelberger Frühling. Since the start of 2013 Hanna-Elisabeth Müller has been SWR2 New Talent, the title of the newly introduced promotion of young artists by the broadcaster Südwestrundfunk, which will accompany her for three years and also release her Lieder CD.

Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, soprano
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
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Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a "luminous standout" (New York Times) and "equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness" (Opera News).  Ms. Cooke appears frequently this season singing Mahler, whose works she has sung to great acclaim on four different continents. Sought after by the world's leading orchestras, opera companies, and chamber music ensembles for her versatile repertoire and commitment to new music, Ms. Cooke's season continues to bring world premiere performances and unique artistic collaborations. 

Ms. Cooke bookends her 2016-17 season with opera performances of Hänsel und Gretel at the Seattle Opera and a world-premiere by composer Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell titled The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at The Santa Fe Opera. Throughout the season her orchestral engagements include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Riccardo Muti leading Prokofiev's Ivan the Terrible, Bernstein's Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah" with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin at Carnegie Hall, and a staged version of Verdi's Requiem with Houston Grand Opera under Patrick Summers. Her season also features performances with Atlanta Symphony for Christopher Theofanidis' Creation/Creator conducted by Robert Spano, Milwaukee Symphony for Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Edo de Waart, Duruflé's Requiem with Cleveland Orchestra conducted Matthew Halls and also with National Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, Minnesota Orchestra to sing and record Mahler's Symphony No. 2 conducted by Osmo Vänskä, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra singing a concert of Handel, Mahler, and Mozart, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with Krzysztof Urbański and the Indianapolis Symphony, Oregon Symphony for Mozart's Requiem under Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and Nashville Symphony for Harbison's Requiem that will also be recorded.

During the 2015-16 season, Ms. Cooke sang performances of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the San Francisco Symphony and New World Symphony, both under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, and with the Tucson Symphony, Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Handel's Messiah with Trevor Pinnock and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, as well as with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Nashville and Seattle Symphonies. A frequent performer of contemporary works, Ms. Cooke's season featured the world premiere of Marc Neikrug's Canta-Concerto with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert.

Her operatic engagements during the 2015-16 season included her role debut as Magdalena in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with San Francisco Opera under the baton of Sir Mark Elder. Ms. Cooke also joined Harry Bicket and The English Concert in her role debut as Medoro in Handel's Orlando on tour to Vienna's Theater an der Wien, Birmingham's Town Hall, Valencia's Palau de la Música, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, London's Barbican Centre, and New York's Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Cooke's past seasons have included performances with such wide-ranging conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, Pinchas Zukerman, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, Riccardo Frizza, Jeffrey Kahane, Jaap van Zweden, Robert Spano, Tugan Sokhiev, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Tugan Sokhiev, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Matthew Halls, and Ludovic Morlot. Previous orchestral engagements have brought her to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Hong Kong Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, MDR Orchestra, I Musici de Montreal, Colorado Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon, Berkeley Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and Columbus Symphony. Ms. Cooke has performed with opera companies around the world in the past including Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, English National Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Dallas Opera, The Israeli Opera and Chicago Opera Theater. Previous festival appearances have included Spoleto Festival USA, Caramoor International Music Festival, Lucerne Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, New York Festival of Song, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Cooke has performed at such prestigious venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Carnegie's Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Wigmore Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. On DVD, Ms. Cooke can be seen in a new production of Hansel and Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera and the Grammy Award-winning production of Doctor Atomic under conductor Alan Gilbert. Ms. Cooke's recordings can be found on the Hyperion, Naxos, Bridge Records, Yarlung, GPR Records, and Sono Luminus labels.

A graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School, Sasha Cooke also attended the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival's Steans Music Institute, the Wolf Trap Foundation, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and Seattle Opera and Central City Opera's Young Artist Training Programs.

Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano Joseph Kaiser, tenor
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Starring as Tamino in the Kenneth Branagh film adaptation of The Magic Flute, conducted by James Conlon and released in 2007, Joseph Kaiser is recognized by audiences for his beauty of tone, intelligence of programming, and innate sense of style and elegance.  He is internationally acclaimed as one of the most gifted artists of his generation and enjoys success in opera, oratorio, and concert throughout North America and Europe.

Mr. Kaiser's 2012-13 season begins with performances as Flamand in Strauss's Capriccio at the Opéra National de Paris in a production by Robert Carsen and conducted by Philippe Jordan.  Operatic engagements also include Houston Grand Opera's mounting of the Francesca Zambello production of Showboat as the leading man Gaylord Ravenal, Dominick Argento's The Aspern Papers at the Dallas Opera, Tamino in Robert Carsen's production of Die Zauberflöte with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic at Teatro Real in Madrid, semi-staged performances of Capriccio at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden led by Sir Andrew Davis, and Christof Loy's production of Gluck's Alceste at the Vienna State Opera in the role of Admète.  Concert engagements include Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Toronto Symphony conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Robertson.

Past seasons' highlights include performances at the Opéra National de Paris as Lensky in Eugene Onegin in a Willy Decker production conducted by Vasily Petrenko, and as Matteo in Strauss's Arabella opposite Renée Fleming, a return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden singing the role of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte directed by David McVicar and conducted by Sir Colin Davis, appearances at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Steva Burja in Jenůfa in the acclaimed Barbara Frey production conducted by Tomáš Hanus, and at Deutsche Oper Berlin with conductor Donald Runnicles, at the Munich Festival as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni conducted by Constantinos Carydis, and bowing at the Metropolitan Opera as Flamand in Capriccio - opposite Renée Fleming - in a production by John Cox under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, as well as Stephen Wadsworth's Rodelinda as Grimoaldo with Harry Bicket conducting, and as Pylades in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride at the Canadian Opera Company in a production by Robert Carsen conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado. Concert highlights include performances of Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings with Sir André Previn and the Gewandhausorchester, Janáček's The Diary of One Who Vanished under the auspices of Chicago Opera Theater, Bruckner's Te Deum with Daniel Barenboim and the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala, and Bruckner's Mass No. 3 in f minor conducted by Marek Janowski with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and Mozart's Requiem with the Mostly Mozart Festival under the baton of Louis Langrée, as well as with the Orchestra of St. Luke's conducted by Iván Fischer at Carnegie Hall.

Additional credits of the artist's dynamic opera diary include the title role of Faust at the Lyric Opera of Chicago conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, the title role of Messager's Fortunio in a new production by Denis Podalydès at the Opéra Comique under the baton of Louis Langrée, Admète in Gluck's Alceste at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in a new production by Christoph Loy conducted by Ivor Bolton, and new productions at the Salzburg Festival of Händel's Theodora directed by Christoph Loy and conducted by Ivor Bolton as well as of Eugene Onegin directed by Andrea Breth and conducted by Daniel Barenboim (both Salzburg productions are commercially available on DVD). 

Mr. Kaiser has bowed at the Metropolitan Opera in a diverse array of leading parts including the title role of Roméo et Juliette - opposite Anna Netrebko - under the baton of Plácido Domingo, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Kirill Petrenko, and as Narraboth in Salome - opposite Karita Mattila - conducted by Patrick Summers and seen internationally on The Met: Live in HD experience.

Further highlights include a Los Angeles Opera debut as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte under the baton of James Conlon, a Covent Garden debut as Narraboth in a new David McVicar production of Salome under Philippe Jordan's baton (commercially available on DVD), and the North American premiere of Kaija Saariaho's Adriana Mater at the Santa Fe Opera in a production by Peter Sellars.  Joseph Kaiser joined the prestigious Ryan Opera Center in the spring of 2004 and, during his residency with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, was involved in productions of The Midsummer Marriage, Fidelio, Aida, and Das Rheingold, singing under the batons of Sir Andrew Davis and Christoph von Dohnányi.  As a principal artist with the company, he has bowed in the title role of Roméo et Juliette as well as in Die Fledermaus, Salome, and Dialogues des Carmélites.

His concert schedule has included performances of the Berlioz Requiem under Marek Janowski with the combined forces of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande as well as with Donald Runnicles both with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Christoph von Dohnányi and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with Ivor Bolton and the Wiener Symphoniker, and with Christoph Eschenbach and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Stravinsky's Pulcinella with Roberto Abbado and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Mendelssohn's Elijah with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri with Sir Simon Rattle and the Philadelphia Orchestra (at the Kimmel Center and at Carnegie Hall), and a European concert tour with soprano Annette Dasch and Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern under the direction of Christoph Poppen.

Mr. Kaiser has appeared at the Caramoor Festival, in a joint program with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, which was presented under the auspices of the New York Festival of Song (commercially available on the Bridge Records label), in Chicago at the Chicago Humanities Festival, in Montreal with the André Turp Society, and on the Debut Series of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.  He joined a roster of emerging artists on a special gala program hosted by Renée Fleming and Sherrill Milnes, under the auspices of the George London Foundation and, as the Song Prize winner of the Julian Autrey Foundation, offered his New York solo recital debut, both at Weill Hall

A prize winner in the 2005 Plácido Domingo Operalia Competition, Joseph Kaiser also was recognized with the Robert Jacobson Memorial Grant by the George London Foundation,  first prizes at the Elardo Opera Competition and Orlando Opera Heinz Rehfuss Singing Actor Award, and numerous scholarships at McGill University.

Comprehensive information is available at

Joseph Kaiser, tenor
Thomas Hampson, baritone
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Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, has received international honors and awards for his captivating artistry and cultural leadership. Lauded as a Metropolitan Opera Guild “Met Mastersinger” and inducted into both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Gramophone’s “Hall of Fame,” Hampson is one of the most respected and innovative musicians of our time. With an operatic repertoire of over 80 roles sung in all the major theaters of the world, his discography comprises more than 170 albums, which include multiple nominations and winners of the Grammy Award, Edison Award, and the Grand Prix du Disque. He received the 2009 Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, and was appointed the New York Philharmonic’s first-ever Artist-in-Residence. In 2010, he was honoured with a Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress, where he has served as Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music in America. Furthermore, he has received the famed Concertgebouw Prize.

Hampson was made honorary professor on the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Heidelberg, and holds honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory, Whitworth College, and San Francisco Conservatory, and is an honorary member of London’s Royal Academy of Music. He carries the titles of Kammersänger of the Wiener Staatsoper and Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France, and was awarded the Austrian Medal of Honour in Arts and Sciences. In 2017, Thomas Hampson received the Hugo Wolf Medal from the International Hugo Wolf Academy, together with his long-time musical collaborator, pianist Wolfram Rieger. The award recognizes their outstanding achievements in the art of song interpretation.

Notable engagements for his 2018/19 season include Thomas Hampson's highly anticipated debut at the Canadian Opera Company, singing the title role in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian, as well as his debut at Houston Grand Opera as the famed librettist Lorenzo da Ponte in the world premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix. Other noteworthy engagements include performances as Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca at the Wiener Staatsoper, and his return to Teatro alla Scala as Altair in Strauss’ Die ägyptische Helena.

Thomas Hampson’s concert appearances this season include performances with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, and a tour with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He will share the stage with his son-in-law, bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, for their “No Tenors Allowed” program in Boston, Toronto, and Santa Fe. 

The 2018/19 season also marks the exciting launch of Thomas Hampson’s “Song of America: Beyond Liberty” concert tour. Mr. Hampson will guide audiences through centuries of stories using personal anecdotes, historical monologues, and readings of his favorite poetry, to celebrate America’s history through song. The project, developed with stage director Francesca Zambello and writer Royce Vavrek, premiered at the Glimmerglass Festival and will share the rich history of the people and events that helped create and define “the land of the free” with audiences, students, and educators across the US and beyond.

During his 2017/18 season, Thomas returned to the Opéra National de Paris in one of his signature roles, Count Danilo in Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe. He also sang the title role in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at the Wiener Staatsoper, and Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca at the Bayerische Staatsoper. A highlight of his concert schedule was his debut tour through Australia, where he was critically acclaimed as “a singer of exceptional artistry...[it’s] easy to understand why he was a protégé of Leonard Bernstein” (J-Wire) and he was regarded as “The George Clooney of opera” (Sydney Morning Herald).

Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer, recording artist, and “ambassador of song,” maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach, and technology. Through the Hampsong Foundation, which he founded in 2003, he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.


Thomas Hampson, baritone
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
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Tanglewood Festival Chorus
James Burton, BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
John Oliver (1939-2018), Founder

Originally formed under the joint sponsorship of Boston University and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the all-volunteer Tanglewood Festival Chorus was established in 1970 by its founding conductor, the late John Oliver, who stepped down from his leadership position with the TFC at the end of the 2015 Tanglewood season. In February 2017, following appearances as guest chorus conductor at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood, and having prepared the chorus for that month’s BSO performances of Bach’s B minor Mass led by Andris Nelsons, the British-born James Burton was named the new Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, also being appointed to the newly created position of BSO Ch

The Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the BSO this season for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (October 25-30), Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (November 29-December 1), Puccini’s Suor Angelica (February 21 and 22), and Dvořák’s Stabat Mater (February 28-March 2) all under Andris Nelsons, and Estévez’s Cantata Criolla (April 11-13) with guest conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Also in October, the TFC performed Maija Einfelde’s Lux aeterna with James Burton, BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, making his subscription-series conducting debut. Originally formed under the joint sponsorship of Boston University and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the all-volunteer Tanglewood Festival Chorus was established in 1970 by its founding conductor, the late John Oliver, who stepped down from his leadership position with the TFC at the end of the 2015 Tanglewood season. In February 2017, following appearances as guest chorus conductor at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood, and having prepared the chorus for that month’s BSO performances of Bach’s B minor Massled by Andris Nelsons, James Burton was named the new Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, also being appointed to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director. Mr. Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky Chair on the Boston Symphony Orchestra roster.

Though first established for performances at the BSO’s summer home, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus was soon playing a major role in the BSO’s subscription season as well as BSO concerts at Carnegie Hall; the ensemble now performs year-round with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. It has performed with the BSO on tour in Hong Kong and Japan, and on two European tours, also giving a cappella concerts of its own on those two occasions. The TFC made its debut in April 1970 at Symphony Hall, in a BSO performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Leonard Bernstein conducting. Its first recording with the orchestra, Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust with Seiji Ozawa, received a Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance of 1975. The TFC has since made dozens of recordings with the BSO and Boston Pops, with Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Keith Lockhart, and John Williams. In August 2011, with John Oliver conducting and soloist Stephanie Blythe, the TFC gave the world premiere of Alan Smith’s An Unknown Sphere for mezzo-soprano and chorus, commissioned by the BSO for the ensemble’s 40th anniversary. Its most recent recordings on BSO Classics, all drawn from live performances, include a disc of a cappella music marking the TFC’s 40th anniversary; Ravel’s complete Daphnis et Chloé (a 2009 Grammy-winner for Best Orchestral Performance), Brahms’s German Requiem, and William Bolcom’s Eighth Symphony for chorus and orchestra (a BSO 125th Anniversary Commission). On July 4, 2018, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joined Keith Lockhart for the “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” on the Charles River Esplanade.

Besides their work with the BSO, TFC members have also performed with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic and in a Saito Kinen Festival production of Britten’s Peter Grimes under Seiji Ozawa in Japan. The ensemble had the honor of singing at Sen. Edward Kennedy’s funeral; has performed with the Boston Pops for the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics; and can be heard on the soundtracks of Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, John Sayles’s Silver City, and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. TFC members regularly commute from the greater Boston area and beyond to sing with the chorus in Boston and at Tanglewood. For more information about the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and upcoming auditions, please visit



James Burton
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James Burton was appointed Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director, in February 2017. He made his BSO subscription-series conducting debut in October 2018, leading the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Maija Einfelde’s Lux aeterna. Born in London, Mr. Burton holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. He began his training at the Choir of Westminster Abbey, where he became head chorister, and was a choral scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge. He has conducted concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hallé, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Manchester Camerata. He made his debut with the Boston Pops in December 2017 and returns to the Pops podium this coming December. He is a regular guest of the Orquestra Sinfónica Nacional of Mexico and returns this season to lead performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Opera credits include performances at English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, and the Prague Summer Nights Festival, and he has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera and Opéra de Paris. Mr. Burton’s extensive choral conducting has included guest invitations with professional choirs including the Gabrieli Consort, the Choir of the Enlightenment, Wrocław Philharmonic, and the BBC Singers, with whom he performed in the inaugural season of Dubai’s Opera House in 2017. From 2002 to 2009 he served as choral director at the Hallé Orchestra, where he was music director of the Hallé Choir and founding conductor of the Hallé Youth Choir, winning the Gramophone Choral Award in 2009. He was music director of Schola Cantorum of Oxford from 2002 to 2017. Mr. Burton is well known for his inspirational work with young musicians. In 2017 he was director of the National Youth Choir of Japan; he has recently conducted the Princeton University Glee Club, Yale Schola Cantorum, and University of Kentucky Symphony. In 2018 he founded the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir. Mr. Burton has given conducting master classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Tanglewood Music Center, and founded a scholarship for young conductors at Oxford. His growing composition portfolio contains works for commissioners including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the 2010 World Equestrian Games, the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and the Exon Festival, where he was composer-in-residence in 2015. In July 2019, Mr. Burton will conduct the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir and Boston Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of his The Lost Words, as part of next summer’s gala Tanglewood on Parade concert. His works are published by Edition Peters. As BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky chair, endowed in perpetuity.


Program Notes Audio
BERNSTEIN - Afterthought: Study for the Ballet Facsimile (4 min)
BERNSTEIN - “Take Care of This House” from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (4 min)
BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 9 (65 min)