The Clydesdale Music and Art Studio
BERKELEY e-PLAQUE Colin Hampton, Cellist(1911–1996)
Hampton Residence: 1323 Arch Street Hampton Later Residence: 309 Berkeley Park Blvd.
“…he was just a colossally great musician.” —Anne CrowdenColin Hampton was born in London and first educated in music at the piano by his father, an organist and self-trained musician. At fifteen he was admitted to London’s Royal Academy of Music and two years later became cellist with the fledgling Griller Quartet, with whom he performed for thirty-five years. His playing produced an immediately identifiable, unique, and resinous sound, which he maintained into his sunset years.The quartet’s career was interrupted by the Second World War, when the members were inducted in the Royal Air Force. Continuing to play quartets in uniform, they became an iconic ensemble for wartime Britain. After the war they resumed development of an international career, which culminated in residency at the University of California at Berkeley. Colin was happy to settle down and become part of a community instead of being, as he said, “king for a night” in the towns they toured.When the quartet’s touring days ended, Colin was happy to become a teacher and contribute to local musical life. Bravely, he decided not to play professionally any longer. Turning down a number of job offers, he became a Pater Familias to cellists and chamber music aficionados in Berkeley and the larger Bay Area.Colin Hampton was an influential teacher of great psychological and musical insight. A spiritual man with strong emotions, he loved young people. Fiercely loyal, he gave support to people and organizations he believed in, notably as a board member of the Crowden School in Berkeley.A closet composer during his performing days, he was now was free to write and arrange pieces for cello ensembles of various sizes. In his last months, he set “La Corona,” John Donne’s sacred verses, for which he received a congratulatory letter from the Bishop of San Francisco. Colin Hampton was a man who loved and was loved. His last words were “dying isn’t so bad.”Contributed by Ian Hampton, 2013 - See more at: http://berkeleyplaques.org/e-plaque/colin-hampton/#sthash.zuIDLtFM.dpuf
Gabor Rejto was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1916. His first 'cello teacher was Frederick Teller, a local teacher whose ideas, for the time, were exceptionally forward looking. At sixteen, Rejto entered the Academy of Music under Adolf Schiffer (a pupil of and later assistant to the great David Popper), and two years later, with his Artist’s Diploma, he embarked upon a European concert career.
At twenty, he went for two years’ study with Pablo Casals, first in Barcelona and then in Prades. Casals worked with him for almost a month only on basic technique, no literature. Casals really revolutionized the approach to the 'cello and at that time it was very modern.
Rejto concertized extensively throughout Europe and played with major symphony orchestra's in Vienna, Budapest, Rome, Warsaw and others, as well as in solo recitals in the great cities of Europe. He came to the U.S. in 1939.
In 1952, Gabor Rejto and Yaltah Menuhin undertook an extensive tour of New Zealand together. Over a period of five weeks, they gave about 25 concerts, to great critical acclaim.
Rejto was a resident of the US from 1939 until his death in 1987. During his career, he was on the faculty of the Manhattan and Eastman school of music and from 1954 to his death was professor of 'cello at the University of Southern California. He was also the 'cellist in the Paganini and Hungarian string quartets, among others, and was a founding member of the Alma Trio. His chamber music experience attracted many students to his 'Cello Workshops held throughout the United States.
He also taught at the Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.
Rejto was chosen Artist Teacher of the Year at the American String Teachers Association’s 25th anniversary conference. He was a revered teacher who believed that students should be taught as individuals. One must be involved with them and be aware of their individual needs. Not only from the instrumental approach but also from a personal angle. A teacher has to be psychologist as well as instructor.