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Hopkinson Smith

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Hopkinson Smith
Background information
Born (1946-12-07) 7 December 1946 (age 77)
New York City, New York, United States
GenresRenaissance music, Baroque music
Occupation(s)Composer, instrumentalist, music teacher, pedagogue
Instrument(s)lute, baroque guitar, vihuela
Years active1970s–present

Hopkinson Smith (born December 7, 1946) is a Swiss-American lutenist and pedagogue, longtime resident in Basel, Switzerland.

Smith was born in New York City, the son of architectural writer and photographer G. E. Kidder Smith.[1] He graduated from Harvard University with Honors in Music (Thesis on "The Pavans of Daniel Bacheler"[2]). He moved to Europe in 1973 to study lute and vihuela with the renowned Catalan classical guitarist Emilio Pujol, as well as Eugen Mueller-Dombois.

In the mid-1970s, Hopkinson Smith was involved in the founding of the ensemble Hespèrion XX, which led to his ten-year collaboration with Jordi Savall.

Since the mid-1980s, Hopkinson Smith has focused principally on solo music for early plucked instruments. These include the vihuela, Renaissance lute, theorbo, Renaissance and Baroque guitars and the baroque lute.

His 2000 recording of the J.S. Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin adapted for baroque lute has been called 'arguably the best you can buy of these works – on any instrument' by Gramophone magazine.[3]

Hopkinson Smith gives concerts and masterclasses throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North and South America. He lives in Basel, Switzerland, where he taught at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis until his retirement in 2020.


Hopkinson Smith’s former students include Rolf Lislevand, Evangelina Mascardi, Miguel Yisrael, Edin Karamazov, Luciano Contini, Andreas Martin, Yasunori Imamura, Rafael Bonavita, and Peter Croton.


  1. ^ Muschamp, Herbert (October 26, 1997) "G. E. Kidder Smith, 83, Historian Who Wrote About Architecture." The New York Times
  2. ^ The pavans of Daniel Bacheler by Hopkinson Smith; Honors thesis - Harvard, 1972.
  3. ^ "Bach: Sonatas and Partitas (Review)". Gramophone Review. John Duarte - Gramophone - July 2000. Archived from the original on 2016-04-07. Retrieved 2007-08-31.

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