NPR: Performance Today -- Live in Studio 4A

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Live in Studio 4A
Our showcase for artists invited to perform on the program and talk about their music
The PT 50
Our list of 50 essential classical CDs
Piano Puzzlers
Bruce Adolphe's "name that composer" piano quiz

Lve in Studio 4A: Hopkinson Smith

Hopkinson Smith Hopkinson Smith (left) has been called a poet of the lute, but he brought his vihuela (vee-HWAY-lah) into Studio 4A to play music by 16th-century Spanish composer Luis Milan. The vihuela is related to the Baroque guitar, and Milan wrote specifically for the instrument.
Listen to the entire hour Hopkinson Smith bio
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Selected Program Audio Excerpts

Hopkinson Smith on Vihuela Music

The Vihuela (left, detail)
Smith describes the history and sound of the instrument.
Luis Milan (ca.1500-1561)
Smith discusses the composer.
An Instrumental Fade
Smith talks about the vihuela's decline.

The Music of Luis Milan

Hopkinson Smith Listen to Fantasia No. 6
Listen to Pavana No. 1
Listen to Fantasia No. 11
Listen to Fantasia No. 18
Listen to Pavana No. 4

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Hopkinson Smith Bio

After concentrating in Musicology at Harvard, Hopkinson Smith came to Europe in 1973 to study with Emilio Pujol, a great pedagogue in the highest Catalan artistic tradition, and also Eugen Dombois, whose sense of organic unity between performer, instrument and historical period has had a lasting effect on him.

In the mid 1970s, Hopkinson Smith was involved in the founding of the ensemble Hesperion XX and his ten year collaboration with Jordi Savall led to important experiences in chamber music which were a creative complement to his work as a soloist.

Since the mid 80s, 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.

With his recitals and series of over 20 solo recordings, he continues to rediscover and bring to life works that are among the most expressive and intimate in the entire domain of early music.

Internationally recognized as a leading personality in the field of early music and one of the world's great lutenists, Hopkinson Smith gives concerts and master classes throughout Eastern and Western Europe and in North and South America. He currently lives in Basel, Switzerland, where he teaches at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.

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