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, Capuçon was invited by Claudio Abbado to become concertmaster of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, which he led for three summers, working with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Moest and Abbado himself.
Since this time, Capuçon has established himself as a soloist at the very highest level. He has played concerti with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic under Haitink and Robertson, the Boston Symphony under Dohnanyi, the Orchestre de Paris under Eschenbach and the Simon Bolivar orchestra under Dudamel. Capuçon also tours extensively as a solo recitalist and will perform complete cycles of the Beethoven violin sonatas with pianist Frank Braley around the world during the coming seasons.
Upcoming concerto engagements for Capucon include concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra with Harding, City of Birmingham Symphony with Morlot, Philadelphia Orchestra with Bychkov, Chicago Symphony with Nezet-Seguin and Chamber Orchestra of Europe with Haitink.
Capuçon has a great commitment to performing chamber music and has worked with Argerich, Barenboim, Bronfman, Grimaud, Kovacevich, Pires, Pletnev, Repin, Bashmet and Mørk, as well as with his brother and regular collaborator cellist Gautier Capuçon. These collaborations have taken him to the festivals of Edinburgh, London (Mostly Mozart), Berlin, Lucerne, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Roque d’Anthéron, San Sebastian, Stresa, Tanglewood and many others.
Capuçon records exclusively for Virgin Classics. His most recent recording wasof Beethoven Sonatas for violin and piano with Frank Braley. He also recordedthe Beethoven and Korngold concertos with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and YannickNezet-Seguin. Since 2007 Renaud Capucon has been an Ambassador for the Zegna & Music project, which was founded in 1997 as a philanthropic activity to promote music and its values.
Renaud Capuçon plays the Guarneri del Gesù “Panette” (1737) that belonged to Isaac Stern,bought for him by the Banca Svizzera Italiana (BSI).
Renaud Capuçon is represented by Intermusica.
January 2011 / 423 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
Barbican with Brett Dean / The Lost Art of Letter Writing
“The best moment came in the Violin Concerto, played with fabulous flair and warmth by Renaud Capuçon. The third movement fixed a fascinatingly ambiguous emotional world – tremulous, uncanny, regretful – with needlepoint precision.”
The Telegraph, March 2012
“The exceptional soloist Renaud Capuçon clearly relished the soaring, wonderfully idiomatic violin lines.”
The Guardian, March 2012
Royal Festival Hall with Budapest Festival Orchestra / Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole
“...the temperature rose further in Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, an old concert favourite, now a rare visitor in Britain. Any gathering dust was blown away in this gorgeous performance from violin soloist Renaud Capuçon (laidback in manner, but so nimble, so fiery) and Fischer’s terrific band. Colourful musicianship, happy tunes, a furious encore. I came out singing in the rain.”
The Times (5 stars), March 2012
“There were wonders in the first half, too... Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole with Renaud Capuçon as soloist. The work is considered fluff in some quarters; here we had the full measure of the seriousness behind its grace and wit. Capuçon played with virile agility and tremendous nobility of tone. Fischer teased out the beauties of Lalo's orchestration with immense subtlety. A great concert.”
The Guardian (5 stars), March 2012
Wigmore Hall Recital with Gautier Capuçon and Frank Braley / Beethoven
“Together, all three musicians have the quality that is the most priceless of all in playing chamber music – they listen intently to each other and always take note of what they do. So their account of the Archduke Trio … had a tremendous sense of organic coherence, as if carved from a single creative block, with its heart firmly located in the great set of variations that form the slow movement.”
The Guardian, November 2011
Fauré - Complete Chamber Music for Strings and Piano with Gautier Capuçon and friends
“It would be hard to imagine greater advocates for Fauré than these superlative French musicians…These discs will provide hours — and years — of pleasure.”
The Times, October 2011
Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Juanjo Mena / Korngold Violin Concerto
“Capucon clearly adores the work and he played it with a panache, sensitivity and sizzling virtuosity that sent all those great tunes soaring. The rich, penetrating sound he drew from his instrument, a 1737 Guarneri del Gesu once belonging to Isaac Stern, easily rode the shimmering orchestration…. The audience called Capucon back for bow after bow before he gave them an encore, Fritz Kreisler's transcription of an air from Gluck's "Orfeo ed Euridice" the transcriber titled "Melody." The violinist played it with exquisite tonal refinement and grace. Let's have him back.”
Chicago Tribune, January 2011
Beethoven Complete Violin Sonatas with F. Braley (Virgin)
“These are among the smoothest and most beautiful-sounding Beethoven duo-sonata performances to have come my way in recent years…It’s chamber music of the highest order…Reflective, incredibly beautiful accounts.”
Gramophone, November 2010
“This is the finest new cycle of the Beethoven violin sonatas to appear on disc in years.”
The Guardian, October 2010
Brahms Piano Quartets No. 1-3 with N. Angelich, G. Capucon and G.Causse (Virgin)
“Marvellously full-blooded accounts of some of Brahms’ most passionate chamber music.”
BBC Music Magazine, November 2010
Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Stephane Deneve / Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
“Renaud Capuçon hushed the packed Usher Hall audience with his spell binding performance.”
The Scotsman, December 2009
“Capuçon’s musical agility appared effortless, particularly in the demanding cadenzas”
The Scotsman, December 2009
“Renaud Capuçon’s playing of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto was astonishing in its polish, sophistication, precision and intensity”
The Herald, December 2009
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Kirril Karabits / Bruch Violin Concerto
"Awe was the response to the burnished gold sound produced by violinist Renaud Capuçon from the first bars of Bruch's Violin Concerto in G minor. Capuçon's instrument is the Panette Guarneri del Gesù, and his simple, unaffected delivery seemed designed to let the violin's characteristic sound speak for itself. It gave a calm serenity to a sometimes overly dramatised work. This was balanced by the high spirits of the Hungarian Gypsy finale, a potent reminder that it was partly inspired by the legendary violinist Joseph Joachim."
The Guardian, November 2009
Staatskapelle Dresden/ Daniel Harding / Schumann Violin Concerto
“Capuçon is a beautiful player, fully warm-toned but so clear and unfussy as to make it easy to imagine him playing Bach.”
The Irish Times, June 2009
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Louis Langrée / Virgin Classics / Mozart
“Now in his early 30s, Renaud Capucon is one of today’s outstanding violinists – less flashy than some, but a fabuously musical player who is as remarkable a chamber player as he is a concerto soloist… A fine achievement”
The Guardian, April 2009
“…Violinist Renaud Capuçon's silvery tone and expressive phrasing of the slow movements (particularly so in the G Major No 3) beautifully balance his brisk and exhilarating takes on the allegros and prestos… Don’t miss this one.”
Sunday Herald, April 2009
Detroit Symphony Orchestra / Saint-Saëns
"Violinist Renaud Capuçon gave a ravishing account of Camille Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 1 linked with the composer's Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso. Capucon's dark sound glowed warmly and the bravura passages were all the more effective for his unwillingness to preen. The audience took to him like catnip, and he answered the repeated curtain calls with an encore, Gluck's Dance of the Blessed Spirits."
Detroit Free Press, October 2007
Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Stéphane Denève / Prokofiev
"The most riveting moment of the evening came with the appearance of Renaud Capuçon in Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No 1. This was a dazzlingly physical display in which the petit Capuçon literally arched his back at times like a recoiled spring, its backlash unleashing power that awoke every morsel of dynamism in the music, not least the searing intensity of Prokofiev's endless melodies and the sheer vivacity and virtuosity of the finale.
For an encore, Capuçon confirmed the astonishing sustaining power he has as a player, holding us rapt in his spell as he delivered a piece of unaccompanied Gluck with the same captivating magic."
The Scotsman, October 2007
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Louis Langrée / Mozart
"Mozart's violin concertos are harder to play than they sound; the challenge lies in making them sound effortless without rendering them facile. Capuçon, with his sweet-toned but deceptively powerful playing negotiated this balance successfully. His playing was brilliant in the bravura passages without sounding like showmanship, while the slow movements, particularly of the G major Third Concerto, were spun out with unerring lyricism. "
The Guardian, September 2007
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal / Kent Nagano
"The soloist was violinist Renaud Capuçon, whose professional history, despite his young age of 31, is already impressive. It is not surprising then that he has been hailed as one of the best violinists of his generation. His distinctive path and musical approach provided the perfect fit for Maestro Nagano. He lives the music, and never loses concentration, allowing the audience to appreciate the accuracy of each note, the emotion he brings to each piece with his Guarneri del Gesù, made in 1737, that was given to him by the BSI. You had to be there to believe it."
Canoë, Canada, August 2007
Lugano Festival / Lalo Symphonie espagnole
"Renaud Capuçon delivered Edouard Lalo's Symphonie espagnole with warmth and conviction. His pace was perfect, and the audience was seduced by the colours he brought to his performance."
Le Figaro, June 2007
Orchestre National de France / Kurt Masur / Tchaikovski
"Without a doubt, Renaud Capuçon is one of the greatest. He has already proven this with impressive recordings of Schumann and Mendelssohn's concertos. … Here, he demonstrates that he has reached musical maturity. The sound is handsome, and he brings a confidently magnificient purity to the higher notes. The clarity of his fingers and bow concur to the galloping pace, in a vertiginous mastery so fast that it sometimes sounds as if the orchestra is running after him. This is a beautiful and generous performance which deserves the best concert halls in the world and maybe even a recording."
Altamusica, June 2005