Hopkinson Smith

Hopkinson Smith


Born in New York in 1946, Hopkinson Smith graduated from Harvard with Honors in Music in 1972. The next year he came to Europe to study with Emilio Pujol in Catalonia and Eugen Dombois in Switzerland. He then became involved in numerous chamber music projects including the founding of the ensemble Hespèrion XX. Since the mid-80’s, he has focused almost exclusively on the solo repertoires for early plucked instruments producing a series of prize-winning recordings for Naïve. These feature Spanish music for vihuela and baroque guitar, French lute music of the Renaissance and baroque, early 17th century Italian music and the German high baroque.

The recording of his lute arrangements of the Bach solo violin Sonatas and Partitas, released in the year 2000, has been universally acclaimed by the press. Gramophone magazine called it “the best recording of these works on any instrument”. A Dowland recording, out since early 2005, won a Diapason d’Or and was called ‘wonderfully personal’ in a review in the New York Times. A recording with music from the world of Francesco da Milano, was awarded a Diapason d’Or de l’Année (the French equivalent of a Grammy award) in November 2009 and has been called “the first recording to do justice to Francesco’s reputation.” A CD with the first three Bach ‘cello Suites played on the German Theorbo was released in early 2013, has also won a Diapason d’Or and was called “totally riveting” in the BBC Music Magazine. His latest recording, “Mad Dog,” is devoted to highlights of the Golden Age of English lute music. It has also won a Diapason d’Or and has been called “mesmerizing” by the BBC.

Hopkinson Smith has performed and given master classes throughout eastern and western Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Japan sometimes combining the life-style of a hermit with that of a gypsy. In 2007 and 2009, he gave concerts and workshops in Palestine under the auspices of the Barenboim-Said Foundation and the Swiss Arts Council. In 2010, he received the music prize from the Italian Region of Puglia with the inscription “maestro dei maestri, massimo interprete delle musiche per liuto dell’antica Europa Mediterranea”, and he is the 2015 winner of the Music Prize from the city of Petrer in the province of Alicante in Spain and the 2018 he was honored by the International Festival of Taxco in Mexico. He teaches at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.

Upcoming Concerts

Event Name Start Date
VIAKURTÁG 1 December 2020
VIAKURTÁG 22 November 2020
VIAKURTÁG 19 November 2020
VIAKURTÁG 18 November 2020