Dubbed the "Ambassador of American Song," renowned baritone Thomas Hampson has joined forces with The Library of Congress to celebrate the history of creativity in America. A champion of the American song, Hampson's collaboration with the Library first materialized as an eleven-city concert tour across the United States in 2005-2006, highlighting the Library's unparalleled collections of songs through concerts, recordings, and cybercasts. Hampson has resumed this collaboration in 2009-2010 with a new tour. Hampson's repertoire spans the gamut of the American song, from the 1700s to the present day, and emphasizes its context in society, ranging from Psalm settings and hymns, folksongs and cowboy songs, to war songs and African American spirituals.
Hampson tells the story of the American people, whose spirit, pride, courage, and imagination inspired the songs that chronicle over two centuries of the nation's history. Known for his focus on the poetic thought in music, Hampson brings to life the tales that are captured in the unfamiliar concert songs of well-established American composers, such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Charles Ives, as well as in the songs penned by lesser-known, but yet equally influential composers, including Harry T. Burleigh, Arthur Farwell, and Elinor Remick Warren. In presenting these songs, as well as treasures from the Library's vast collections, Thomas Hampson and The Library of Congress have embarked on a nationwide creative voyage honoring America's musical and cultural heritage.