A Cellist's Life, the Autobiography of Colin Hampton. I found this book to be interesting and useful in a number of ways. Mr. Hampton was a great story teller, and I enjoyed reading his first-hand accounts of incidents in the lives of many famous cellists and musicians.The book is also brimming with easily understood tips with regard to cello technique, and will be valuable to both students and teachers. It is written with a good deal of humor, as well as meditation on the meaning of life. It makes you think.
The back cover reads: "One of the 20th century's most distinguished cellists, Colin Hampton, is your guide to a bygone world of classical music and musicians. Wise teacher, musical iconoclast, and nonpareil cellist of the illustrious Giller Quartet, Hampton helped to redefine the standards of contemporary chamber music, founded one of America's first cello clubs, and inspired generations of students.
"Through his witty, convivial, and candid narratives, you'll also encounter such luminaries as Pablo Casals, Ernest Bloch, Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini, Bela Bartok, Yehudi Menuhin, and others as never before."
A Cellist's Life is full of interesting black and white photographs, and it is well indexed. It is a paperback book, with glossy covers, and is 102 pages long. The retail price is $12.95 US dollars. The paper is of fine quality, but the print (in my opinion) is too small for comfortable reading. On the other hand, the smaller print means you are getting the equivalent of a larger book.
I found the book engaging and thought provoking, and the sort of book that I will want to read and re-read as the years go by. I'm glad to add it to my library, and I recommend it to cellists of all ages.
A Cellist's Life is published by String Letter Publishing, publishers of the famous Strings Magazine. String Letter books are distributed by Hal Leonard (1-800-637-2852). The book is available through Amazon.com.
Reviewed by "drcello," December 30, 2000.