Hopkinson Smith has long established himself as one of the most distinguished lute players in the world. Born in New York, he graduated from Harvard in 1972 and moved to Europe a year later, to study with Emilio Pujol and with Eugen Müller-Dombois, an important pioneer in the revival of the lute. He made Basel his home (where he still lives) and soon began to participate actively in the then flourishing and exciting early music movement, playing with different ensembles. He was one of the founding members of Jordi Savall’s Hespèrion XX group. For the last 40 years, he has devoted himself entirely to plucked string instruments from the Renaissance and Baroque periods (lutes, guitars, vihuela, theorbo) and its repertory (either original or transcriptions). His dedication transpires clearly from his vast discography, where he has approached all the major plucked string national traditions of the time down to Johann Sebastian Bach (he authored lute transcriptions of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin and also of his Cello Suites), and which earned him multiple prizes and awards. His decades-long career has regularly seen him touring Europe and travelling to North and South America, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, for concerts and masterclasses. Two of the most symbolically significant were his 2007 and 2009 visits to Palestine, under the auspices of the Barenboim-Said Foundation and the Swiss Arts Council. In 2010, the Italian Puglia region (southeast) awarded him their Music Prize. Hopkinson Smith has long been a Professor at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.
Recital of Lute and Vihuela
El Siglo de Oro, the Golden Age