Renaud Capuçon is one of the most dazzling French violinists of his generation. An established soloist and sought-after chamber musician, he has studied or worked with some of the big names in contemporary music.
Renaud Capuçon started studying the violin at only four years old, and at the age of fourteen he went to the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse, Paris. He graduated with first prize for violin and chamber music. He went on to participate in competitions and contests, and was awarded Berlin Academy's Prize in 1995. As a first violin in the European Youth Orchestra, he soon caught the attention of Claudio Abbado, who offered him the role of first violin in the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (a youth orchestra based in Vienna). This led to him many meaningful encounters with Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Daniel Barenboim and Franz Welser-Moest.
He went on to play with many prestigious orchestras in France and his career quickly led him abroad to play at the Berlin Philharmonic with Bernard Haitink, at the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel and with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra led by Kurt Masur and with the Staatskapelle Orchestra, Dresden. Renaud Capuçon has played on some of the most prestigious stages both nationally and internationally.
Renaud Capuçon is also an adept chamber musician; he often plays with his brother, cellist Gautier Capuçon, but also with pianist such as Frank Braley, Nicholas Angelich, Jérôme Ducros and Hélène Grimaud.
In 1996, he founded chamber music festival Rencontres artistique de Bel-Air in La Ravoire, close to Chambéry (France) which hosted some of the most brilliants musicians of the genre: Jean-Pierre Wallez, Michel Dalberto, Martha Argerich, Stephen Kovacevich, Augustin Dumay, Gérard Caussé, Paul Meyer, Emmanuel Pahud, Marielle et Katia Labèque and many others. Capuçon remained head of the festival more than ten years.
Since I began to play the violin, I have spent my life trying to gather people around me: first by creating Chambéry's festival to play with friends, then with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. I have always felt the need to be surrounded by honest musicians that I can learn from. To be attentive is essential to me. I often get told "at age 40, you're at a peak" and I often answer that I'm nowhere near any peak, that it's just the beginning. The beginning of freedom... (extract from an interview by Lorenzo Ciavarini Azzi for France Info, 25/03/2016)
Alongside his career as a violinist, Renaud Capuçon is also the Artistic Director and Founder of the Aix Easter Festival.
Six Landmark Dates in the Life of Renaud Capuçon
1996: Founded the Rencontres artistiques de Bel-Air festival.
1999: His performance of a Brahms concerto was the talk of the "Folles journées" music festival in Nantes.
2000: Awarded "New Talent of the Year" at the Victoires de la Musique Awards.
2005: Awarded "Instrumental Soloist of the Year" at the Victoires de la Musique Awards
2009: Recorded the short 7.57 am-pm directed by Simon Lelouch
2013: Founded the Aix en Provence Easter Festival
Six Key Recordings by Renaud Capuçon
2002: Henri Dutilleux, Violin Concerto L’arbre des songes with the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and Myung-Whun Chung (Virgin Classics).
2004: Ludwig van Beethoven, Concerto for violin, cello and piano with Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Alexandre Rabinovitch (EMI Classics)
2004: Johannes Brahms, Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello with Gautier Capuçon and Nicholas Angelich (Virgin Classics).
2009: Ludwig van Beethoven and Erich Korngold, Concertos for Violin with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin – (2CD, Virgin Classics)
2011: Gabriel Fauré, Chamber Music for Stringed Instruments and Piano with Gautier Capuçon, Gérard Caussé, Ebène Quatuor, Nicholas Angelich and Michel Dalberto (5CD, Virgin Classics).
2012: Johannes Brahms & Alban Berg, Concertos for Violin with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Daniel Harding (Virgin Classics).