Interview Date: April 1 and 2, 2013
Conservatory Affiliation: Chamber Music Faculty
Interviewers: Tessa Updike, Archivist

Cellist Bonnie Hampton leads an active music life as a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. A founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Francesco Trio, she has also performed as part of the Hampton-Schwartz Duo with her late husband, pianist Nathan Schwartz. Her solo debut with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra was followed by appearances with orchestras nationally performing the entire standard repertoire and many of the 20th century cello concertos.

She has been involved in performances of new music since the beginning of her career. Her contemporary recordings include CD's representing American works, often commissioned and premiered by the Trio and Duo. Ms. Hampton's chamber music guest appearances have included performances with the Juilliard, Guarneri, Cleveland, Mendelssohn, Alexander, Budapest, and Griller String Quartets, and concert tours have take her to Europe and Asia. She has performed in many of the major halls in the United States, including Davies Hall and the Opera House in San Francisco, Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Jordan Hall, and many chamber music venues throughout the world.
A student of Pablo Casals, she participated for many years in the Casals and Marlboro festivals. She has performed at many festivals including Chamber Music West, Seattle, Ravinia, Santa Fe, Kneisel Hall, and the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival. Her early studies were with Margaret Rowell, the Griller String Quartet, and Zara Nelsova.

Her Francesco Trio Residencies have included Grinnell College, Stanford University, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she taught for thirty years. Ms. Hampton was awarded an "Excellence in Teaching Award" from SFCM as well as the "Eva Janzer Award" from Indiana University. Ms. Hampton has also taught at Mills College, and the University of California, Berkeley. She is a past president of Chamber Music America. In September 2003 she joined the faculty at the Juilliard School.

Transcript PDF

Transcript Topics

Early Years and Music Teachers
Margaret Rowell
Teaching at the Conservatory, 1950s
Griller Quartet
Alma Trio
Zara Nelsova
Pablo Casals
The Conservatory and Chamber Music, 1950s
Francesco Trio
Nathan Schwartz
Milton Salkind
The Conservatory and Chamber Music
Chamber Music Masters Degree, 1985
Conservatory Faculty and Staff
Former Students
East and West Conservatories
Evolution of the Conservatory and Chamber Music

Audio

Early years

Margaret Rowell

Conservatory

Griller Quartet

Zara Nelsova

Pablo Casals

Oral history interviews are a method of collecting historical information from a narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. These interviews are primary materials, and by nature reflect the personal opinion of the narrators. As with any primary resource, these interviews are not to be viewed as the final and definitive source for any subject.

All literary rights to audio and manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Requests for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to archives@sfcm.edu.