Release Date: October 14, 2014
Catalog #: NV5975
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century

Hard Listening

Mitch Hampton composer & pianist

As composer and pianist Mitch Hampton admits, HARD LISTENING, his debut solo album on Navona Records, “aims to dissolve all boundaries of style or taste,” while providing an earnest yet sometimes humorous reflection on the questions of society and musical aesthetics.

Hampton explains the focus of his compositions is on the building blocks of music – rhythm, harmony, and melody – and their innate value regardless of “extramusical” or sociological meanings: “For me music is about the art object, the piece of music itself, which communicates emotion quite powerfully on its own, quite apart from specific representational associations.” Petite Dirge places the style of 19th-century composers like Chopin in a 20th-century context while Large Dirge in memory of my father takes its form from the Rodgers and Hart tune “Where Or When.” Pieces such as “Feminist Singer-Songwriter Song Without Words” and Goodbye Cornelius present extremes in both style and emotion.

Mitch Hampton received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music and has commissioned work for clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, flutist Mike Feingold, and the Ciompi Quartet, among others. His works have been performed at Boston’s Symphony Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and on NPR.


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Artist Information

Mitch Hampton


Mitch Hampton was born in 1967 in New York City, was educated at Interlochen Arts Academy and received a Bachelor's and Master's from New England Conservatory of Music. His piano teacher and mentor while there was Stanley Cowell. His composition instructor was Thomas McKinley.