Thomas Hampson

American composer Charles Ives was unprecedented at suiting his musical style to the story he wanted to tell; he created dozens of surprising “snapshots in song” of what it was like to be alive in America during his lifetime.

Baritone Thomas Hampson hosts this compelling series of programs covering the history of music in America, and its impact on society. Sunday, August 26, 5 to 6 pm.

Song listings with composer/poet, and performers.

Baritone Thomas Hampson hosts this compelling series of programs covering the history of music in America, and its impact on society. Throughout our history, America has gone to war with bravado and with anguish.  Songs have helped shape those emotions, and express them - inspiring us to battle, sustaining our courage, giving us a way to lament our losses.  Hear this week's program on Sunday, August 12, 5 to 6 pm.  Songs include: "Dixie," "Over There," and "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Many Americans have had to raise their voices to be recognized or even heard in America. In this program, on Sunday, July 29, 5 to 6 pm, you'll hear songs of African Americans and Native Americans; women, immigrants, and war resisters; and voices from the labor movement and the gay rights movement.

C0mplete song listings here

WRTI is proud to present Song of America, a new radio series that reveals American classic song - poetry set to music by American composers - as a vibrant diary of the American experience.

On Sunday, July 22 at 5 pm, tune in for Song of Walt Whitman. Whitman, the "Bard of Democracy," was the founder of a new American language. With music built deep into his poetry, it's no surprise that Whitman has been a beacon for American composers. You'll hear performances by Thomas Hampson, William Sharpe, Susan Graham, and Ramon Vargas.

Join Thomas Hampson for a program showcasing the songs of Stephen Foster. "Stephen Foster's music is the trunk of the tree of American song, sturdy with songs we love to sing," says Hampson. In this program he interviews Ken Emerson,  author of Doo-Dah! Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular Culture. They'll explore Foster's music, the varied artistic roots he drew from, and the musical branches that grew from his work.

German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who died earlier this month at age 86, was a paragon of excellence for generations of singers and fans. After his passing, we called American baritone Thomas Hampson for his memories of Fischer-Dieskau, whom he has called "a Singer for the ages, an Artist for eternity."

Jill Pasternak spoke with baritone Thomas Hampson in 2006 when he was in Philadelphia on tour with his latest project with the Library of Congress: The American Songbook. We examine his stellar career, and his personal views about the mission of music, and in particular American music.