Classe d'Excellence de Violoncelle Gautier Capuçon


From 6 january to 07 june 2017

The “Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle”, under the direction of Gautier Capuçon, is geared towards six young talented cellists selected on the basis of an application dossier and live audition in France and abroad. The first two editions took place on a monthly basis at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, for a series of three-day sessions for six months.


For its third season, the “Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle” returns to the Fondation auditorium from November 2016 and until June 2017.


Each monthly session is made of daily lessons with Gautier Capuçon, and includes public masterclasses and a one and a half hour long public concert during which time participants will have the opportunity to present their work (programs consist of solo cello pieces, cello and piano sonatas, concertos accompanied with piano).


The “Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle,” made up of a series of artistic and professional coaching sessions, offers participants a comprehensive training opportunity intended to complement participants’ formal musical education.  Bathed in the atmosphere of intense creativity generated by this singular venue, the project aims to be a source of inspiration and stimulation.  Gautier Capuçon, as mediator and mentor, will encourage exchange and innovation, and will accompany each participant in his or her personal artistic journey.


As part of the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s mission to promote artistic creation in all its different forms and media, the “Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle” aims to expose its participants to a wide array of genres; to encourage dialogue and encounters with guest speakers from different cultures and nationalities; and to bring awareness to a wide range of different styles and projects.  During their time at the Fondation, spent alongside great artists and talented professionals, participants will have the singular opportunity to develop their individual projects, to explore and appreciate the subtleties of a career as a performing artist, and to be exposed to new musical and otherwise artistic perspectives.


For this third edition, the Fondation Louis Vuitton has commissioned Bruno Mantovani to compose a work for 7 cellos. The piece will be premiered on the last concert of the season, June 7th 2017.


© DR

Public masterclasses and concerts schedule

Friday 6 January 2017: Public masterclasses from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Saturday 7 January 2017: Public masterclasses from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Saturday 7 January 2017: Laureates concert from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


Friday 24 February 2017: Public masterclasses from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Saturday 25 February 2017: Public masterclasses from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Saturday 25 February 2017: Laureates concert from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March 2017: Public masterclasses from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Sunday 19 March 2017: Laureates concert from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 April 2017: Public masterclasses from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Sunday 16 April 2017: Laureates concert from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


Monday 5 and Wednesday 7 June 2017: Public masterclasses from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday 7 June 2017 – 8h30 p.m.: Closing concert with Gautier Capuçon, Samuel Parent and the 6 laureates. The programme will include the creation of the piece for 7 cellos by Bruno Mantovani (Commission of the Fondation Louis Vuitton).


© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Gaël Cornier


© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Gaël Cornier

Gautier Capuçon, director

"It's the rare performer the rare performer who can bring such ease and refinement to this music, while still giving everything he plays a sense of dramatic urgency.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

Gautier Capuçon is a true 21st century ambassador for the cello. Performing each season with many of the world’s foremost conductors and instrumentalists, he is also founder and leader of the ‘Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle’ at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris – based in the stunning new Auditorium designed by Frank Gehry. He is acclaimed internationally for his deeply expressive musicianship and exuberant virtuosity, as well as for the glorious sonority of his 1701 Matteo Goffriller cello. 

During 2016/17 he returns to such orchestras as the London Symphony and Philharmonia orchestras Berliner Philharmoniker, Russian National Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Münchner Philharmoniker, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony – and is being reinvited for concerts in Japan, China and Korea. Conductors with whom he continues to regularly work include Charles Dutoit, Semyon Bychkov, Valery Gergiev, Gustavo Dudamel, Lionel Bringuier, Andris Nelsons, Christoph Eschenbach, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

In recent seasons he has also performed with ensembles such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, New York Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Sydney Symphony and Mariinsky orchestras, as well as with all of the major orchestras across France. 

A regular recital and chamber musician, Capuçon appears annually in the major halls and festivals worldwide alongside artists such as Nicholas Angelich, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Lisa Batiashvili, Frank Braley, Renaud Capuçon, Jérôme Ducros, Leonidas Kavakos, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Menahem Pressler, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and the Artemis and Ebène quartets. Forthcoming highlights include an extensive European recital tour of Beethoven Sonatas with Frank Braley, supporting the international release of an album featuring the same repertoire.

Capuçon records exclusively for Erato (Warner Classics) and has won multiple ECHO Klassik awards. Most recent releases include Shostakovich’s Cello Concertos with the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev; and Schubert’s String Quintet with Quatuor Ebène. Prior to that he won plaudits for a recital disc of music by Schubert, Schumann, Debussy, Britten and Carter with Frank Braley, and Saint-Saëns’ First Cello Concerto and Muse et le poète with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Lionel Bringuier. He has also recorded chamber music with Martha Argerich, Nicholas Angelich, Renaud Capuçon and Gabriela Montero; and in 2013 Deutsche Grammophon released a DVD featuring Capuçon as soloist with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Gustavo Dudamel in a live performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto No.1.

Born in Chambéry in 1981, Capuçon began playing the cello at the age of five. He studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris with Philippe Muller and Annie Cochet-Zakine, and later with Heinrich Schiff in Vienna. The winner of various first prizes in many leading international competitions, including the International André Navarra Prize, Capuçon was named ‘New Talent of the Year’ by Victoires de la Musique in 2001.                      


© Mélanie Foucault

Samuel Parent, piano

Further to his studies with Michel Bourdoncle in Aix-en- Provence and Olivier Gardon in Paris, and under the tutelage of Brigitte Engerer, Samuel Parent earned an advanced studies diploma in music performance (with distinction) from the CNSM of Paris in 2004.

In 1998, he founded the Trio con Fuoco, an ensemble which has won awards at many international competitions, and with which he performs regularly in France (Aix-en- Provence, La Roque d’Anthéron, Flâneries musicales de Reims auditorium of the Louvre Museum) and on the global stage, including, Belgium. Morocco, Spain, The Netherlands, India and Central America.

In 2008, he was awarded second prize at the “Rina Sala Gallo” International Piano Competition in Monza, Italy. That same year, he joined the chamber music class of the Artemis Quartet at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium.

A highly sought-after chamber musician, he has performed with several artists such as the Quatuor Ebène, Hugues Borsarello, Henri Demarquette, Olivier Patey, Erik Berchot, Ami Flammer and Emmanuel Christien. He plays regularly with violinist Mathilde Borsarello-Herrmann, a prize-winner of the Long-Thibaud International Violin Competition. Concerts include appearances at various festivals such as the Pianoscope Festival in Beauvais, the Colmar Festival, the Festival Musique en Côte Basque, Les Musicales de Caillebotte, as well as at the Salle Gaveau and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

Samuel Parent is also a distinguised accompanist. Since January 2014 he has been the piano accompanist for Yanowski during his “Passe Interdite” song tour. He is also a regular guest at several summer schools where he provides support for students. In 2015 he became the the official accompanist of Gautier Capuçon’s Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.

Promotion 3

Sol Daniel Kim & Laura Szabo

© Fondation Louis Vuitton / vidéo : Dourak production

Sophia Baclar & Cornelius Zirbo

© Fondation Louis Vuitton / vidéo : Dourak production

Margarita Balanas & Cameron Crozman

© Fondation Louis Vuitton / vidéo : Dourak production