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About this performance

Copland Old American Songs
Bernstein Divertimento
Adams Harmonium

Ludovic Morlot conductor
Thomas Hampson baritone

The concert
Vast, varied, magnificent America.

The Great American Songbook is explored in this special performance, featuring the incredible vocal power and captivating musical intelligence of world-renowned baritone Thomas Hampson.

One of the finest singers America has produced in the past century, the legendary lyric baritone Thomas Hampson returns to the MSO, teaming up with French conductor, Ludovic Morlot.

A career spanning more than 80 roles across the greatest opera houses of the world, Hampson now largely devotes his performing life to the concert stage. He is known for his passion and authority over the music of his home country, and in this performance, he celebrates its history through song.

Aaron Copland was known as “the Dean of American composers” - his sweeping melodies seem to embody the sound of America itself. His Old American Songs are suggestive of prairie life, the minstrel tradition, even of revivalist music and together paint a portrait of the country’s character.

For all Copland’s importance to the American sound, there was a definite French connection in his development, having studied in Paris and fully immersed himself in French culture. He associated with some of the greatest artists of the day, and when back in the States he remained well connected. He met one young man at a party who would become a dear friend and confidante: Leonard Bernstein.

Bernstein is represented here by his Divertimento, a work he wrote for the Boston Symphony and fellow American John Adams’ by his 1980 piece Harmonium.

Music Director of Seattle Symphony from 2011-2019, French conductor Ludovic Morlot’s association with American music continues with this concert of musical and cultural connections, as vast and varied as the United States itself.

Running time
1 hour and 36 minutes, including a 20-minute interval.

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