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Bonnie Hampton headshot


Courses Taught

Chamber Music


Francesco Trio, 1964-2002

Hampton-Schwartz Duo, 1967-2002

Awards and Distinctions

Doctor of Music, honoris causa, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Award for Excellence in Teaching, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Eva Janzer Award, Indiana University

One of the finest cellists of her generation.”

— Pablo Casals


What is your hometown?

Berkeley, CA

What is your favorite recording?

Pablo Casals: Bach Cello Suites.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

More Music! Books.

Who were your major teachers?

Margaret Rowell, Zara Nelsova, and Pablo Casals.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

“Play with character. SAY something.”

—Pablo Casals

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

Hearing and playing string quartets. Playing great symphonies at age 13.

What was a turning point in your career?

Studying with Pablo Casals.

What is your daily practice routine?

Playing a Bach suite, scales, and other repertoire.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Bach, Beethoven, and Haydn (quartets).

What are your most important collaborations?

The Francesco Trio, Felix Galimir, and Robert Mann.

What recordings can we hear you on?

Francesco Trio: American Trios

Francesco Trio: Schubert and Brahms (Spruce Records)

Hampton-Schwartz Duo: Music and Arts

What is your unrealized project?

Recording the Beethoven cello sonatas.


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 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 20 th century cello concertos. 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 taken her to Europe and Asia. She has performed in halls throughout the United States, including Davies and the Opera House in San Francisco, Alice Tully, 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 Tanglewood, Ravinia, Santa Fe, Kneisel Hall, and Yellow Barn. Her early studies were with Margaret Rowell, the Griller String Quartet, and Zara Nelsova. Her Francesco Trio Residencies have included 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 and Indiana University and was a member of the Juilliard School’s Cello and Chamber Music faculty from 2003-2012. In 2018, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.