Thomas Hampson

Legendary Singer and acclaimed Mahler Scholar

So much of the music of Gustav Mahler seems to contemplate eternity, soaring on the heights of metaphysics or grappling with the struggles of existence. 

But one question always remains: who was Gustav Mahler, the man, the lover, the father, the friend, the genius – the human being?

Somewhere in the midst of so many recitals of Gustav Mahler’s songs, it became clear to me that I was singing a kind of autobiography. A diary, if you will, of a man residing within these lieder, a man of incredible perception. 

Mahler had the phenomenal capacity of turning experience into sound, somehow distilling the thrills and defeats of life, its profundity and absurdity into notes. Notes that speak to us with an uncanny familiarity. These songs, while seemingly personal testimonies of Mahler’s life, actually echo our own. We discover in the words and musical phrases messages of untimely truth, and questions that will always be asked of the human experience.

So, these songs are both deeply personal and universal. We sense Mahler’s character and personality, we witness him observing himself and others, hear his laughing, and sense his doubt, frustrations and joys. And through all of this he captures what it means to be alive, in a language that goes far beyond the individual.


There is no part of Mahler’s music that does not fascinate me and sharing my journey is deeply fulfilling. I look forward to exploring Mahler’s life though his songs with all of you in this exciting new format.

Thomas Hampson


Mahler Month

Mahler Month

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