The academy is made up of 1,300 top scholars, artists, scientists, and religious leaders. Sponsored by Austria and the European Union, it works to "contribute to the future of Europe and its unity by promoting knowledge, cooperation, and tolerance."
Hampson, an American, is one of the world's leading operatic baritones, known for the title roles of Guillaume Tell, Eugene Onegin, Don Giovanni, and Werther, among other parts. He is also an educator and an acclaimed and active recitalist, singing the music of Mahler and Wolf. His previous honors include several honorary doctorates and the titles of Kammers‹nger of the Vienna State Opera and Chevalier of France's Order of Arts and Letters.