Thomas Hampson (born June 28, 1955, Elkhart, Indiana) is an American lyric baritone.
Thomas Hampson grew up in Spokane, Washington. He studied with Marietta Coyle, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Martial Singher, and Horst Günther. In 1980 he took the second prize at the ‘s-Hertogenbosch International Vocal Competition, and in 1981 first place in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. In 1992, Hampson earned a BA degree in Government from Eastern Washington University. He also studied at the Music Academy of the West.
As the protégé of the late Leonard Bernstein, Hampson recorded Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with him for Deutsche Grammophon, a recording that is widely appreciated. After this and up to the time of the conductor’s death, Thomas Hampson contributed to many major Bernstein recordings.
Today considered one of America’s leading baritones, Hampson’s operatic repertoire spans a wide range of roles: the title roles in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Rossini’s Guillaume Tell, Ambroise Thomas’ Hamlet, and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin; Figaro in Rossini’s Barber of Seville, Germont in Verdi’s La traviata and more recently also Amfortas in Wagner’s Parsifal and Scarpia in Tosca. In 2003 his recording of Wagner’s Tannhäuser received the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. On 20 December 2008 he sang Athanaël in the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD video transmission of Jules Massenet’s Thaïs.