Renaud Capuçon’s exceptional musicianship and technical command are matched by his generosity of spirit. His artistry is at once sensitive and strong, elegant and poised, yet capable of projecting edgy emotions with spine-tingling intensity. He brings a rare lyricism and true virtuosity to the art of violin playing, unlocking his instrument’s singing qualities to reveal an extraordinary variety of tone colours and timbres. Le Temps (Geneva) calls him “An uninhibited musician at the peak of his art”, while the Telegraph (London) notes that “in terms of thrilling depth of tone his equal is hard to find among violinists today”.
Deutsche Grammophon announced the launch of an enterprising creative collaboration with Renaud Capuçon in September 2022. The ground-breaking initiative is set to deliver a multi-year series of projects, comprising both audio and audio-visual releases. Recordings stemming from his work with young artists and composers will be produced by a special company co-owned by the artist and released by DG.
Capuçon launched his new relationship with the Yellow Label in November 2022, with an album of sonatas by Schumann, Beethoven and Franck made with Martha Argerich in concert at the Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival six months earlier and dedicated to the memory of their friend and pianist colleague Nicholas Angelich. He follows this in 2023 with a series of three Mozart albums. Together with pianist Kit Armstrong he has recorded the composer’s 16 mature violin sonatas – their 4-CD album will be released in June. Capuçon’s readings of the complete violin concertos with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne come out in September, and he will inaugurate the new Beau Soir imprint with Mozart’s two piano quartets, recorded with three outstanding young musicians and set for digital release in November.
A major presence on the international concert stage for well over two decades, Renaud Capuçon is in high demand as concerto soloist, chamber music partner and recitalist. His credits include performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Filarmonica della Scala, Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Capuçon has developed strong creative partnerships with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and garnered critical acclaim for chamber music collaborations not least with Argerich, Barenboim, Hélène Grimaud, Maria João Pires, Daniil Trifonov, Yuja Wang and his brother, the cellist Gautier Capuçon. The breadth and depth of his work is reflected in a discography that comprises albums devoted to the core of the concerto and chamber repertoire together with contemporary works by Arvo Pärt, Henri Dutilleux, Karol Beffa, Bruno Mantovani, Wolfgang Rihm and Pascal Dusapin, and classic cinema soundtracks.
In addition to his concert schedule, Renaud Capuçon is a dedicated teacher of outstanding young talents. He was appointed professor at the Haute Ecole de Musique et Conservatoire de Lausanne in 2014, and has been artistic director of the International Menuhin Music Academy in Rolle, Switzerland since 2019. He is also artistic director of the Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival (which he founded in 2013), the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad festival (since 2016), and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne (since 2021), and has been a UNESCO Artiste pour la Paix since 2020.
In 2019 Capuçon gave a series of concerts at six French cathedrals to raise funds for the Notre Dame de Paris restoration project, and in April 2020 performed works for solo violin as part of a small Good Friday service held in the fire-ravaged building. That same year he was commissioned by the French Minister of Culture to help musicians forced to cancel their concert engagements because of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. This resulted in Ludwig à Paris, during which Capuçon, nine young violinists and ten young pianists performed Beethoven’s ten violin sonatas for medici.tv.
Renaud Capuçon was born in Chambéry in eastern France on 27 January 1976, thus sharing his birthday with Mozart. He began playing violin at the age of four and ten years later enrolled at the Conservatoire de Paris, before moving on to Berlin, where he studied with Thomas Brandis and Isaac Stern. His early career embraced the experience of leading the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester under the direction of Claudio Abbado and important work as artistic director of Les Rencontres artistiques de musique de chambre de Bel-Air, which he founded in 1996. He was appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by the French government in 2011 and Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur five years later. He plays the 1737 Guarneri del Gesù “Panette” violin formerly owned by Isaac Stern.