French violinist Renaud Capuçon is firmly established internationally as a major soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He is known and loved for his poise, depth of tone and virtuosity, and he works with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, artists, venues and festivals.
Born in Chambéry in 1976, Renaud Capuçon began his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris at the age of fourteen, winning numerous awards during his five years there. Following this, Capuçon moved to Berlin to study with Thomas Brandis and Isaac Stern and was awarded the Prize of the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1997, he was invited by Claudio Abbado to become concert master of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, which he led for three summers, working with conductors including Boulez, Ozawa, Welser-Möst and Claudio Abbado.
Since then, Capuçon has established himself as a soloist at the very highest level. He performs with leading orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Filarmonica della Scala, London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic (VPO), Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. His many conductor relationships include Barenboim, Bychkov, Dénève, Dohnanyi, Dudamel, Eschenbach, Gergiev, Haitink, Harding, Long Yu, Paavo Järvi, Nelsons, Nézet-Seguin, Roth, Shani, Ticciati, van Zweden.
A great commitment to chamber music has led him to collaborations with Argerich, Angelich, Barenboim, Bashmet, Bronfman, Buniatishvili, Grimaud, Hagen, Ma, Pires, Trifonov, Yo-Yo Ma and Yuja Wang, as well as with his brother, cellist Gautier Capuçon, and have taken him, among others, to the Berlin, Lucerne, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Roque d’Anthéron, San Sebastián, Stresa, Salzburg, Edinburgh International and Tanglewood festivals. Capuçon has also represented France at some of the world’s most prestigious international events: in 2018/19 he performed with Yo-Yo Ma under the Arc de Triomphe for the official commemoration of Armistice Day in the presence of more than 80 heads of state, and played for world leaders at the G7 Summit in Biarritz. He is the Artistic Director of two festivals, the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, since 2016, and the Easter Festival in Aix-en-Provence, which he founded in 2013.
Orchestral highlights of Capuçon’s 2019/20 season include performances with Bayerische Rundfunk, Filarmonica della Scala, Vienna Symphoniker, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; he will tour the US with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and perform the World Premiere of the Jarrell Violin Concerto with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. He will appear in recital at the Salzburg Festival, Musikverein and Wigmore Hall; he will perform the complete Beethoven Trios with Gautier Capuçon and Frank Braley, and record the complete Mozart Sonatas live in concert with Kit Armstrong.
He has built an extensive discography and records exclusively with Erato/Warner Classics. Recent releases include a recording of Bach Sonatas with David Fray, Dvořák and Tchaikovsky Trios with Lahav Shani and Kian Soltani live at Aix Festival, Bartok’s two violin concerti with the LSO / Roth, Brahms and Berg with the VPO / Harding, and chamber music of Debussy. His album 'Au Cinema', featuring much loved selections from film music, was released to critical acclaim in October 2018.
In 2017, Capuçon founded a new ensemble, the Lausanne Soloists, comprised of current and former students of the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne, where he has held a professorship since 2014. He plays the Guarneri del Gesù 'Panette' (1737), which belonged to Isaac Stern. In June 2011 he was appointed 'Chevalier dans l'Ordre National du Mérite' and in March 2016 'Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur' by the French Government.
Chamber music partners
Le Temps, March 2018
"A dizzying freedom and vitality of playing … no less an interpreter who listens to others. A musician uninhibited, at the top of his art."
Bachtrack, May 2018
"Oozing presence (and Gallic élan) from every pore, he played with an overwhelming legato that was, nevertheless, impressively assertive, meaning that the melodies flowed from his violin like liquid gold."
Telegraph, May 2014
"Renaud Capuçon proved once again that in terms of thrilling depth of tone his equal is hard to find among violinists today. It's a law of nature that the higher a violin goes, the less rich its tone can appear, but Capuçon somehow defied this..."