La Classe d'Excellence de Violoncelle - Promotion IV

For its fourth season, the Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle returns to the Fondation auditorium from November 2017 and until June 2018. Created and led by Gautier Capuçon, this project is geared towards six young talented cellists from all over the world selected on auditions.

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, under the guidance of Gautier Capuçon.

 Throughout the season, the Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle also hosts a number of outside speakers who are invited to present ancillary aspects of a musician’s life and career, such as personal management, work structure, life on the road, press relations, stress management, overall well-being and physical issues. This harmonious blend of masterclasses and professional workshops allows each of the students of the promotion to develop at his own rhythm during the season through an experience as musically intense as humanly enriching.    

As part of the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s mission to promote artistic creation in all its different forms and media, this unique project of residence open to the public in a museum stands as a “musical lab”.

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. In an educational approach, the project is closely followed by, which broadcast, sometimes live, the masterclasses and concerts of the season.

For this fourth edition, the Fondation Louis Vuitton has commissioned Guillaume Connesson to compose a work for 7 cellos. The piece will be premiered on the last concert of the season, June 16th, 2018.

Le programme

October Session
20 and 21 October 2018
December Session
15 and 16 December
April Session
20 and 21 April 2019
May Session
25 and 26 May 2019
June Session
28 and 29 May 2019
Session de juin
15 et 16 juin

Promotion IV

Anouchka Hack

26 years old (Germany)

German cellist Anouchka Hack is acclaimed by audience and press for her expressive sound and lively musicality. With a captivating stage presence and devoted interpretations, she convinces both as a soloist and in a Duo with her sister, pianist Katharina Hack as well as a sought-after chamber musician.

Concert engagements have led her to play in halls like the Beethovenhaus Bonn, Casals Forum Kronberg, Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Recipient of the Prix Jean-Nicolas Firmenich at the Verbier Festival 2021 for the best young cellist and the 2022 Leyda Ungerer prize, Anouchka Hack is a "Debut“ artist in Nikolaisaal Potsdam, the series featuring recitals and solo appearances in three seasons.

Concert engagements for the current season comprise solo appearances with the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and recitals with Katharina Hack in Laeiszhalle Hamburg and at Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern amongst others, as well as chamber concerts in Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. Anouchka Hack most recently appeared as a soloist with the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, the Erfurt Symphony Orchestra, the Brandenburger Symphoniker, the Zagreb Soloists and the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra, and as a chamber musician in the prestigious Rheingau Musikfestival. Solo appearances lead her to play concerts in the Konzerthaus Dortmund amongst others.


In 2020, her Duo first album, featuring works by Dmitri Shostakovich and an encore together with Gautier Capuçon, was released at GENUIN classics, and was nominated for the German record critics award and the Opus Klassik award. Anouchka and Katharina Hack are the artistic directors of the meetMUSIC Open Air Festival in Mettingen, Germany, which celebrated its first two successful editions in 2021 and 2022. Next to the big works of the Duo repertoire, the sisters incorporate free Duo improvisations in their concerts as well.

Anouchka Hack is a scholarship holder of the Mozart-Gesellschaft Dortmund and the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben. She is currently studying with Prof. Frans Helmerson at the Kronberg Academy. As a prizewinner of the Competition of the German Music Instruments fund, Anouchka Hack plays on a Cello by Bartolomeo Tassini, Venice 1769. 

Raphaël Jouan

23 years old

French, lives in Paris (FR)

Raphaël is a young cellist motivated by his love of sharing music. He took up his instrument at the age of 5 with Jean Adolphe, before studying with Xavier Gagnepain. In 2017, he got his master degree in the class of Michel Strauss and Guillaume Paoletti at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris. He has been advised by G. Hoffman, J. Pernoo, B. Cocset, G. Rivinius, J. P. Maintz, L. Harell, and in jazz cello with V. Ségal and S. Braun. 

Raphaël’s style is characterised by his curiosity and openness. His personal repertoire includes several concertos (Vivaldi on baroque instrument, Haydn, Schumann, Saint-Saens, Beethoven…) with orchestra, as well as the Bach cello suites, which he first performed at the ‘Festival de la Haute Clarée’, invited by Zhu Xiao Mei with whom he has been studying piano. He is a member of the Hussam Aliwat Quartet, formed by two cellos one oud and drums. Mix between rock, groove and improvisation, they play in jazz clubs like the Sunset. 


Passionate about chamber music, he gives concerts in prestigious concert halls (Pleyel, Cortot, Philharmonie de Paris) and during various festivals in France (Les Rencontres Musicales d’Evian, Via Aeterna, Folles Journées de Nantes) and abroad (Hohenstaufen Festival, Molaeb Festival in Lebanon, Folles Journées in Varsovie and Tokyo…). 


In 2014, Raphaël founded the Hélios Trio with Alexis Gournel (piano) and Camille Fonteneau (violin). Currently studying with Itamar Golan and François Salque, they benefited from the teachings of Claire Désert and the Wanderer Trio. Laureates of international competitions (Illzach, Prix d’Europe…) they have also been advised by G. Paoletti, Y. Markovitch, E. Strosser, C. Ivaldi, J. Meissl, G. Sutre, the Modigliani and Ebène quartets… They are in residency at the festival de la Roque d’Anthéron in 2015 and 2016, and at the festival des Arcs since 2016. 


Raphaël plays a cello by Etienne Vatelot, generously lent by Michel Strauss. 

Shizuka Mitsui

25 years old

Japanese, lives in Salzburg (Austria)

Born in 1992 in Yokohama Japan, Shizuka Mitsui started playing the cello at the age of five, in Boston USA where he spent his childhood. From 1998 to 2014 he studied at the Toho-Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo under Hakuro Mori, and regularly attended the masterclass of Wen-Sinn Yang. From 2011 to 2012 he worked at the Academy of NHK Symphony Orchestra. 

In 2014, he pursued his studies at the Mozarteum University Salzburg in the class of Giovanni Gnocchi. Since 2016, he has  been studying under Clemens Hagen. He has also had a lot of opportunities coached by other eminent cellists, such as Jens Peter Maintz, Natalia Gutman, Jian Wang, Danjulo Ishizaka, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Masato Iwai and Wolfgang Boettcher.


Shizuka is a laureate of numerous competitions at home and abroad. For instance, the Gold Prize at the Izumino-Mori Cello Competition (2009), the 2nd prize at the Japan Classic Competition (no 1st prize, 2010), Kirishima International Music Festival Award (2011), the 1st Prize at the Enrico Mainardi Competition (2016), and the 2nd prize at the Tokyo Music Competition (2017). In May 2017, he was one of the Semifinalists of the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels.


Shizuka Mitsui was invited to appear at the International Cello Festival “Alfredo Piatti” in Bergamo, where he performed all Piatti’s Caprices in one concert. He also performed at “the Mozart Festival” in Cuba, “Prize Winner Concert” in Salzburg Festival, and Kusatsu International Music Festival, and “The Japan Festival” in Indiana University.

Caroline Sypniewski

29 years old (France)

Caroline is a young cellist from Toulouse who studied with Jérôme Pernoo in the CNSM of Paris, and then was chosen to become part of the prestigious Classe d’Excellence of Gautier Capuçon at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, as well as Clemens Hagen’s class in Salzbourg Mozarteum. She also completed studies in both full Piano and Piano accompaniment in Paris.

She has performed as a soloist at numerous festivals, among them the Pablo Casals festival, the Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence, Musique à l’Emperi, W Krainie Chopina à Varsovie, Orangerie de Sceaux, the Edinburgh Festival, the Ohrid Summer Festival, the Clos-Vougeot festival, and the Variations Musicales de Tannay. She has also appeared at most of Europe’s top concert halls such as the Victoria Hall, the Paris Philharmonie, the Champs-Elysées Theatre, the Opera Garnier, the Grand Théâtre de Provence, Baden-Baden Kurhaus, Schloss Elmau, the Salle Cortot, the Casa de Música in Porto, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation. In April 2018, she was selected to represent the Van Cleef & Arpels Brand at a private event at Beijing’s Summer Palace.

She has played with several great artists such as Emmanuel Pahud, Renaud Capuçon, Gautier Capuçon, Alexandre Kantorow, Adam Laloum, and Abdel Rahman El Bacha. She plays regularly in string trio with her two sisters Anna and Magdalena Sypniewski. As the soloist, she has played with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dijon-Bourgogne Orchestra, the Apassionato Ensemble, the Chamber Orchestra of Varsovia Philharmonie, the Elektra Orchestra, and the New-Europe ChamberOrchestra.

She has been awarded several prizes and distinctions including the "Révélation Classique » Adami 2017, the young Talent prize of the Clos-Vougeot Wine and Music Festival, a scholarship from the Safran Foundation, the Ginette Neveu prize at the Carl Flesh Academy 2015, and the Grand Prize of the Ravel Academy 2018.

Kristina Winiarski

23 years old

Swedish, lives in Stockholm (Sweden)

Kristina is currently doing her advanced soloist diploma studies at the Malmö Academy of Music in Sweden with professor Torleif Thedéen.

In 2012-2014, she studied with Professor Valter Despalj at the Zagreb Academy of Music. She is also a graduate from the Edsberg Chamber Music Institute/Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where she studied with professor Torleif Thedéen and Mats Zetterqvist.   


Kristina was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1994 and started to play the cello at the age of six with the Russian teacher Maria Zhuravleva. She made her solo debut at the age of 8 with the “Cantus Firmus Chamber Orchestra” in Moscow. She has since then performed with many orchestras internationally, including the St Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, the Zagreb Philharmonic, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, National Philharmonic of Maryland, The National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C among others. Future engagements in include a solo debut with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra in Sweden.


In 2016, she won the ‘Soloist Prize’ at the Royal College of music in Stockholm and got to perform Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with the RCM Symphony Orchestra. She is a scholarship holder from the Royal Music Academy in Sweden, the John Andersson Foundation and the International Music academy in the Principality of Liechtenstein.


Kristina has a big passion for chamber music, and she therefore frequently enjoys playing at festivals in Sweden and around Europe. Recent engagements include Musethica Festival Israel, Podium Festival Croatia, Festival Next Generation in Switzerland and the Chamber Music Festival in Allhelgona Church, Stockholm. Together with the Swedish pianist Pontus Carron, she is a prize winner in the prestigious Swedish Duo Competition 2017.


Throughout the years, Kristina has had the opportunity to collaborate with and receive coaching from many esteemed musicians, such as Konstantin Bogino, Dora Schwarzberg, Andreas Brantelid, Nazanin Aghakhani, Bengt Forsberg, Reinhard Latzko, Jens Peter Maintz, Frans Helmerson and Anner Bylsma.  

Sarina Zhang

21 years old

American/Canadian, lives in Weimar (Germany)

Born in Canada and raised in San Diego, California, pianist and cellist Sarina Zhang made her debut with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in November 2011. Sarina was named a National YoungArts Winner and a Davidson Fellow by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.

She is also the first person in the history of the Aspen Music Festival to have won both the low strings competition and the piano concerto competition. Sarina has been featured five times on the national radio program “From the Top”, as both a pianist and a cellist, in addition to her appearance on their TV series. Sarina has performed as a soloist with the St. Louis, Detroit, San Diego, Albany, and Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Prague Youth Philharmonic, among others. Most recently, Sarina made her debut with the Juilliard Orchestra and Maestro Susanna Mälkki performing Schumann’s A minor Piano Concerto in Alice Tully Hall. Sarina was also selected as one of eleven young artists to attend Music@Menlo’s prestigious Chamber Music Institute International Program in 2015. Sarina graduated in May with a Bachelor of Music from the Juilliard School, where she studied piano with Yoheved Kaplinsky and Hung-Kuan Chen, and cello with Richard Aaron and David Finckel and was a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. She will be continuing her studies this fall at the Franz Liszt Hochschule für Musik in Weimar, Germany, with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt.

Gautier Capuçon

Gautier Capuçon is a true 21st century ambassador for the cello. Performing internationally with many of the world’s foremost conductors and instrumentalists, he is also a passionate ambassador for the Orchestre à l'École Association which brings classical music to more than 40,000 school children across France. In January 2022 Gautier Capuçon launched his own Foundation to support young and talented musicians at the beginning of their career and increasing his commitment to young artists. A multiple award winner, he is acclaimed for his expressive musicianship, exuberant virtuosity, and for the deep sonority of his 1701 Matteo Goffriller cello “L’Ambassadeur”.

In summer 2020, mid-pandemic, Capuçon brought music directly into the lives of families across the length and breadth of France, free of charge, during his musical odyssey ‘Un été en France’. During July 2022, for the third edition of this project, he performs 15 concerts across the nation including Autun, Clairveaux, Eauz, and his hometown of Chambéry. He also showcases 14 young musicians and 8 young dancers within his concert presentations.


Committed to exploring and expanding the cello repertoire, Capuçon performs an extensive array of works each season and regularly premieres new commissions. Current projects include collaborations with Lera Auerbach, Danny Elfman and Thierry Escaich.


In the 2022/23 season, Capuçon appears with, amongst others, Boston Symphony Orchestra (Andris Nelsons), Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Manfred Honeck), San Francisco Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas), Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Marie Jacquot), Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (Andris Nelsons), NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester (Pablo Heras-Casado), Munich Philharmonic (Lorenzo Viotti), Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich (Christoph Eschenbach), Orchestre de Paris (Klaus Mäkelä), and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (Semyon Bychkov). He is the Curating Artist at the Konzerthaus Dortmund, and in addition, Capuçon plays at Festivals worldwide, including the Salzburg, Grafenegg, and Verbier Festivals.


In recital, Capucon pairs regularly with Frank Braley and Jérôme Ducros – while other chamber music partners include Nikolai Lugansky and Gabriela Montero as well as Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Lisa Batiashvili, Renaud Capuçon, Leonidas Kavakos, Andreas Ottensamer, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Daniil Trifonov, Yuja Wang, the Labèque sisters and the Artemis, Ébène and Hagen quartets.


Recording exclusively for Erato (Warner Classics), Capuçon has won multiple awards and holds an extensive discography. His latest album Sensations is due to be released in Autumn 2022, exploring short pieces from a range of different genres. His album of romantic works by Brahms and Rachmaninoff in collaboration with Andreas Ottensammer and Yuja Wang is also released in Autumn 2022 by Deutsche Grammophon. 2020’s Warner Classics album Emotions features music from composers such as Debussy, Schubert and Elgar and has achieved gold status in France, remaining at Number 1 in the charts for over 30 weeks and selling more than 110,000 copies. Earlier recordings include concertos by Shostakovich (Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev) and Saint-Saëns (Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France with Lionel Bringuier); the complete Beethoven Sonatas with Frank Braley; Schubert’s String Quintet with the Ébène Quartet; Intuition with Orchestre de Chambre de Paris/ (Douglas Boyd and Jérôme Ducros); an album of Schumann works, recorded live with Martha Argerich, Renaud Capuçon and Chamber Orchestra of Europe/ (Bernard Haitink); Beethoven Piano Trios with Renaud Capuçon and Frank Braley; Chopin and Franck sonatas with Yuja Wang; and a solo album featuring Bach, Dutilleux and Kodaly as well as a “Best of” recording on occasion of his 40th birthday.


Capuçon has been featured on DVD in live performances with the Wiener Philharmoniker (Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No.1) Berliner Philharmoniker (Haydn Cello Concerto No.1) and with Lisa Batiashvili, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann (Brahms’s Concerto for Violin and Cello). A household name in his native France, he also appears on screen and online in shows such as ProdigesNow Hear This, and The Artist Academy, and is a guest presenter on Radio Classique in the show Les Carnets de Gautier Capuçon. 


Born in Chambéry, 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. Now, he performs with world leading orchestras, works with conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, Christoph Eschenbach, Andrès Orozco-Estrada, Pablo Heras-Casado, Klaus Mäkelä, Andris Nelsons, and Christian Thielemann, and collaborates with contemporary composers including Lera Auerbach, Karol Beffa, Esteban Benzecry, Nicola Campogrande, Qigang Chen, Bryce Dessner, Jérôme Ducros, Henry Dutilleux, Thierry Escaich, Philippe Manoury, Bruno Mantovani, Krzysztof Penderecki, Wolfgang Rihm, and Jörg Widmann. 

Samuel Parent

Samuel Parent est né en 1982 dans le Vaucluse.

Après avoir étudié avec Michel Bourdoncle à Aix-en-Provence, puis Olivier Gardon à Paris, il est admis en 2000 dans la classe de Brigitte Engerer au Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, dont il sort quatre ans plus tard avec un diplôme de Formation Supérieure, mention très bien.

En 2008, il remporte le deuxième prix au concours international Rina Sala Gallo de Monza, Italie. Cette même année, il intègre la classe de musique de chambre du quatuor Artemis à la Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth de Belgique.


Pendant une quinzaine d'années, Samuel Parent a été le pianiste du Trio con Fuoco, ensemble récompensé dans plusieurs concours internationaux (Illzach, Florence, Heerlen...) et au sein duquel il s'est produit dans de nombreux festivals (Aix-en-Provence, la Roque d'Anthéron, Flâneries musicales de Reims) et sur la scène mondiale : concerts à  l'Auditorium du Louvre, au Bozar de Bruxelles, à l'Auditorium de Dijon, au Maroc, en Espagne, aux Pays-Bas, en Inde, en Amérique Centrale...


Chambriste recherché, Samuel Parent se produit avec de nombreux artistes tels que Gautier Capuçon, le quatuor Ebène, Hugues Borsarello, le quatuor Van Kuijk,  Henri Demarquette, Olivier Patey, Erik Berchot, Ami Flammer, Frédéric Aguessy, Emmanuel Christien, Mathilde Borsarello-Herrmann, Karen Vourc'h, Mari Eriksmoen... Il a ainsi été invité dans des cadres prestigieux comme le Palais de la Musique à Valencia, les Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad ou la saison musicale de Schloss Elmau. En France, Samuel Parent a joué notamment au festival Pianoscope à Beauvais, au Festival de Colmar, au Festival de Chambord, Musique en Côte Basque, au Printemps de la Grange au Lac, à la salle Gaveau, au théâtre du Châtelet à Paris.


Samuel Parent se distingue également pour ses talents d'accompagnateur : depuis janvier 2014, il est le pianiste de Yanowski qu'il accompagne dans son tour de chant « la Passe Interdite ». Il est régulièrement invité dans diverses académies estivales pour apporter son soutien à de nombreux étudiants. Depuis 2015, il est le pianiste accompagnateur de la classe d'Excellence de Violoncelle de Gautier Capuçon à la Fondation Louis Vuitton à Paris. En 2019, Samuel Parent est l'un des accompagnateurs officiels du Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth à Bruxelles.


Samuel Parent se distingue également pour ses talents d'accompagnateur : depuis janvier 2014, il est le pianiste de Yanowski qu'il accompagne dans son tour de chant « la Passe Interdite ». Il est régulièrement invité dans diverses académies estivales pour apporter son soutien à de nombreux étudiants. Depuis 2015, il est le pianiste accompagnateur de la classe d'Excellence de Violoncelle de Gautier Capuçon à la Fondation Louis Vuitton à Paris. En 2019, Samuel Parent est l'un des accompagnateurs officiels du Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth à Bruxelles.Samuel Parent se distingue également pour ses talents d'accompagnateur : depuis janvier 2014, il est le pianiste de Yanowski qu'il accompagne dans son tour de chant « la Passe Interdite ». Il est régulièrement invité dans diverses académies estivales pour apporter son soutien à de nombreux étudiants. Depuis 2015, il est le pianiste accompagnateur de la classe d'Excellence de Violoncelle de Gautier Capuçon à la Fondation Louis Vuitton à Paris. En 2019, Samuel Parent est l'un des accompagnateurs officiels du Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth à Bruxelles.