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Thomas Hampson Gives Master Class and Webcast at Manhattan School of Music Today

Thomas Hampson will be at Manhattan School of Music today, March 19th to give a vocal master class. This master class, a free event and open to the public, takes place at 4:00 p.m. in the School's Greenfield Recital Hall, and will be streamed live by going to The master class will be given in collaboration with MSM's world renowned Distance Learning and Recording Arts Department, headed by Christianne Orto, Dean of Distance Learning and Recording Arts at Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Hampson and MSM's Distance Learning program have a longstanding relationship that goes back nearly a decade. Both share a joint commitment and vision to communicate arts programming with the broadest audience possible, by using webcasting and interactive distance learning, to create new, virtual communities of learners throughout the world who care deeply about music and song.

Thomas Hampson and MSM's Distance Learning Department presented the first-ever live video streaming of a classical music event using a iPHONE/iTOUCH app on March 30, 2010. This class was streamed simultaneously on the Manhattan School of Music website, making it an interactive experience with viewers from all over the world tuning in. This first truly global master class reached viewers from Tiffin, Ohio to Latvia with 55 viewers in nine countries tuning in on an iPhone. Another 767 viewers from 33 countries watched the master class from computers. It also provided viewers a question-answer session with Mr. Hampson and the performers taking part in the master class. At that time, Thomas Hampson said, "There is nothing more important and exciting in the world of education today than the world of education technologies and their ability to expand outreach and guarantee content quality. Manhattan School of Music continues to be at the forefront of this endeavor, and I am thrilled to be part in what we believe is the first classical music-related event in an iPhone App." Christianne Orto has spearheaded the School's webcasts and award-winning distance learning program since it began in 1996.

On Wednesday, March 19th, 2014, Thomas Hampson will be working with five singers: Sol Jin, baritone; a first-year Master's student studying with Maitland Peters; Thomas Mulder, tenor; a second-year Master's student studying with Mark Oswald; Gina Perregrino, mezzo-soprano; in her senior year studying with Mignon Dunn; Christine Price, soprano; in her senior year studying with Ashley Putnam; and Xiaoming Tian, baritone; first year Master's student studying with Neil Rosenshein.

Thomas Hampson holds the title of Visiting Artist for Vocal Studies and Distance Learning at MSM, and serves as a member on the School's Board of Trustees and Artistic Advisory Board. He enjoys a singular international career as a recitalist, opera singer, and recording artist and maintains an active interest in teaching, research, and technology. Praised by the New York Times for his "ceaseless curiosity," he is one of the most respected, innovative, and sought-after soloists performing today. Mr. Hampson was recently inducted to the Gramophone 2013 Hall of Fame; honored as a Metropolitan Opera Guild Met Mastersinger; and presented with the first Venetian Heritage Award (2013) and the Concertgebouw Prize (2011).

On March 6th, Thomas Hampson makes his role debut as the eponymous antihero of Berg's Wozzeck at the Metropolitan Opera, in a production featuring Deborah Voigt and led by James Levine.

Christianne Orto, Dean of Distance Learning and Recording Arts at Manhattan School of Music, has led the School's distance learning program since inception in 1996. In 2006, Ms. Orto won one of the first Internet2 IDEA awards for Interactive Music Education. The IDEA award represents applied advanced networking at its best, and holds the promise to increase the impact of next-generation networks around the world. In 1997, Ms. Orto became director of MSM's newly formed Recording and Videoconferencing department incorporating her background in the recording industry where she has worked as a freelance and associate producer in classical recording at BMG Classics. Ms. Orto is a voting member of NARAS (National Recording Arts & Sciences).

Manhattan School of Music's Distance Learning Program, created 17 years ago, has been heralded throughout the world as the leading program of its kind. Under Christianne Orto's guidance, it has become the go-to program emulated by music conservatories, performance ensembles, universities, public and private K-12 schools, performance venues as well as music organizations worldwide. The program was originally instituted in 1996 so that Pinchas Zukerman, the world renowned violinist/conductor, could devote more time teaching his Manhattan School violin students while he was on the road with his heavy performance schedule. In 2014, the program has literally expanded in leaps and bounds and now delivers more than 2,000 programs annually. It includes regularly scheduled distance learning master classes, music instruction, musical programs and events, educational and community outreach, composer colloquiums, a jazz series, professional development sessions, academic seminars and classes in both classical music and jazz. The program reaches more than 7500 learners by connecting to students, educators, audiences and distinguished artists reaching audiences from Shanghai, Finland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Alaska, Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska and upstate New York, to name just a few sites. MSM Distance Learning reaches some nineteen countries and thirty-nine of our fifty states.

In 2002, MSM became an affiliate member of Internet 2, a consortium of some 190 universities and research institutions who "work in partnership with industry and government officials to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies." Manhattan School of Music has been instrumental in improving the sound quality for music distance learning in co-creation of the MusicMode with longtime technical partner, Polycom, Inc. They have collaborated closely with engineers and experts to send and receive high-fidelity sound designed specifically for live, acoustic music and to reproduce live music so that remote listeners can her the true sound of the music.

Manhattan School of Music's Vocal and Opera Training Programs are recognized among the finest in the world, and attract some of the most talented young singers from throughout the United States and more than forty countries. Students in the program refine their technique and develop artistry under the guidance of a faculty of eminent artist-teachers while gaining exposure before New York City audiences through performances in opera scenes, community outreach programs, an annual senior opera theater presentation, master classes with renowned artists, and two fully-staged productions each year.

The Manhattan School of Music Opera Program has a long and proud tradition of producing some of the finest operatic artists in America and abroad. The School's opera pro­ductions have been praised as a significant contribution to operatic life in New York City, and many students have gone on to major careers. Among notable alumnae are sopranos Pamela Armstrong, Elaine Alvarez, Alexandra Deshorties, Lauren Flanigan, Olivia Gorra, Kathleen Kim, Catherine Malfitano, Tonna Miller, Laquita Mitchell and Dawn Upshaw; mezzo-sopranos Kate Aldrich, Beth Clayton, Jennifer Dudley, Susan Graham, and Dolora Zajick; countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo; tenors Matthew Chellis and Brandon Jovanovich; and baritone Scott Altman. Opera conductors George Manahan and Israel Gursky, as well as Margaret Juntwait, the first woman announcer and voice of the Metropolitan Opera broadcast, are also graduates.

The MSM voice faculty includes: Maitland Peters, Chair; Edith Bers, Joan Caplan, Mignon Dunn, Hilda Harris, Cynthia Hoffmann, Marlena Kleinman Malas, Spiro Malas, Catherine Malfitano, Patricia Misslin, Mark Oswald, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, Ashley Putnam, and Neil Rosenshein. Dona D. Vaughn is the artistic director of the MSM Opera Theater.

For more information, visit Manhattan School of Music's website at

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