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La Classe d'Excellence de Violoncelle - Promotion VI

Every year since 2014, the Classe d'Excellence de Violoncelle de Gautier Capuçon takes place in the Auditorium of the Fondation. Created and directed by Gautier Capuçon, this project is designed to promote six young and talented cellists from around the world.

From November 2019 to June 2020, Gautier Capuçon and the laureates of the 6th promotion will meet for 6 sessions of workshop : two public work sessions and a concert. Throughout the year, follow the evolution of these music prodigies, guided by Capuçon's expert advices. 

The six laureates of the Promotion VI are : Gaeun Kim (South Korea), Jan Sekaci (Roumania), Ildikó Szabó (Hungary), Umut Sağlam (Turkey), Jeeln You (South Korea), Daniel Thorell (Sweden).

Season 2019/2020 will end with a closing concert, initaly planned on 20 June 2020, is rescheduled on 14 October at 8.30 p.m.

La promotion VI de la Classe d'Excellence de Violoncelle de Gautier Capuçon

© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Martin Raphaël Martiq

Le programme

November Session
15 and 16 november 2019
December Session
14 and 15 décember 2019
March Session
7 and 8 march 2020
October Session
14 and 15 october 2020

The Promotion VI


Ildikó SZABó was the winner of the 2nd Prize, the Audience Award, and 7 Special Prizes at the 2014 Pablo Casals International Cello Competition. She is also a top prize winner of the German Music Competition, TONALi, Popper International Competition, Janigro International Competition, and Liezen International Competition.

She has appeared as a soloist with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer, the Hungarian Radio Orchestra, Magdeburgische Philharmonie, and the Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra. She made her debut at Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in June 2019 and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in 2018. The same summer, she appeared at the Mendelssohn Festival with Hamburger Symphoniker. In April 2017, Ildikó made her recital debut at the Berlin Konzerthaus, invited by her mentor Sir Alfred Brendel. Previous festival invitations have included the Verbier Festival, Piatigorsky Festival Los Angeles, Krzyzowa Music, Holland Music Sessions.

Her interest in working with living composers has led her to collaborate with Peter Eötvös and Gyorgy Kurtag. In January 2019 she was awarded the Special Prize for Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work at the Mendelssohn Competition and premiered Christian Jest's Lautlos II at the Konzerthaus Berlin. In April 2019 with Concerto Budapest, she played the Budapest Premiere of the Rözsa Concerto nearly 50 years after it was composed.

Ildikó is a scholarship holder of the Study Foundation of the German Nation and currently plays an Antonio Sgarbi cello (Rome, 1894), generously loaned by the German Foundation of Musical Life. 


Umut SAğLAM started his cello studies in 2009 in Hacettepe University State Conservatory with Tufan Tahir Taiga. In 2014, he entered Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory with Dilbag Tokay. Then in 2016, he started studying at the Barenboim-Said Academy with Claudius Popp.

He is the winner of several awards, among which the second prize in the International Competition of German and Austrian Music "Magic" in 2015, the first prize of the 25th Young Musician International Competition "Citta di Barletta", the first prize in the "International Young Talents Competition" in 2017, the first prize in the Gaetano Zinetti Music Competition in Italy and the "Tremplin" International Cello Competition in France in 2018. He also performed with the pianist Eren Aydoğan at the "Rising Stars Concert Series" held by Is Sanat, and was awarded first prize and the "Meriç Soylu Special Award".

He made his first debut as a soloist at 15 under the baton of the Turkish conductor Gurer Aykal. Since then, he performed as a soloist with various orchestras such as Bakirkoy Chamber Orchestra, Ankara Youth Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey.

Umut also followed masterclasses and shared the stage with artists such as Daniel Barenboim, Jorg Widmann, Steven lsserlis, Gary Hoffman, Claudio Bohorquez, among others. In 2018 he was invited by Maestro Daniel Barenboim to be a part of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

Since 2017, Umut is a scholar of the "Young Musicians on World Stages"(YMWS) project mentored by Guher & Suher Pekinel, supported by the Tüpra$ Company. He currently studies with Frans Helmerson at the Barenboim-Said Akademie and plays on a Nicolas Lupot cello made in 1810 in Paris, generously provided by the YMWS Project. 


Daniel THORELL is a cellist from Stockholm, Sweden. Though only 21-years old he has already had great success as a soloist and a chamber musician, both nationally and internationally. Praised for his mature and expressive music making he is currently regarded as one of Scandinavias most promising young cellists. He is a first prize winner in no less than seven International competitions, most notably Rovere D'oro (2017) where he was also awarded gold medal. In May of 2019, he was also a major prize winner in the 54th Markneukirchen International Cello Competition.

Born into a family of musicians, Daniel began playing the cello at the age of five. He made his debut as a soloist at the age of eleven, performing Saint-Saens A-minor Cello Concerto with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Since then he has performed regularly as a soloist with orchestras around Sweden including the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. The season 18/19 included performances playing Rococo-variations, Schumann Cello Concerto and Saint-Saens Cello Concerto, as well as chamber music in festivals in Germany and Scandinavia.


Daniel is currently studying his soloist diploma at the Norwegian Academy of Music with prof. Torleif Thedeen and is often attending masterclasses around the world with a number of renowned teachers including Jens-Peter Mainz, Danjulo lshizaka, Maria Kliegel, Claudio Bohorquez and Antonio Meneses. He is a recipient of numerous scholarships from foundations such as SWEA International Scholarship for the arts and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

Daniel is playing a L. Bisiach generously on loan from the Jarnaker Foundation. 

Jan Sekaci

Jan Sekaci was born on in February 2001. He started to play the cello at the age of 10 in his hometown Oradea at the High School of Arts Oradea. Since 2015, he studies with Octavian Lup at the National College of Arts "Dinu Upatti". He won many prizes at national and international competitions, among which the 3rd prize at the Antonio Janigro Cello Competition in Porec, Croatia.

He also won the 2nd prize at the Young Virtuosos International Competition in Sofia, Bulgaria, the 1st prize at Klaipeda International Competition, Lithuania, the 1st prize at the ProArt Competition in Khmelnitsky, Ukraine, the 4th prize at the Johannes Brahms competition. He participated at masterclasses held by Marin Cazacu, Octavian Lup, Mihai Marica, Denis Severin, Frans Helmerson, Judith Ermert, Jacob Shaw, Romain Garioud, Raphael Pidoux, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt.

In 2018, Jan was selected as an active participant at the Kronberg Academy Masterclasses, studying with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt.


Gaeun KIM started her cello studies at the age of four. At age 17, she has already played in many concerts in famous halls such as the Kumho Art Hall, Shinhan Art Hall, Kukje Art Hall, SECL Hall, among others.

Gaeun has also performed with many orchestras, among which Jagred Soloists, Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra, Incheon Philharmonic Orchestra, Seongnam Philharmonic Orchestra, and Bucheon Philharmonic Orchertra.

She also is the winner of several competitions, including the 2012 Antonio Janigro International Cello Competition, the 2013 Liezen International Cello Competition, and the 2015 David Popper International Cello Competition.

More recently, Gaeun took part in this year's XVI Tchaikovsky International Competition, where she was the youngest participant in the history of the event.

Jeein You

Jeeln You was born in South Korea in 2002 and began studying cello at the age of five. When she was seven she joined the Korea National University Of Arts Preschool under her tutor Chung Myung-Wha.

In 2010 she gave her first concert with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. She was then invited to play at the Seoul Spring Festival, and won first prize at the Osaka International Music Festival. The following year, aged nine, she gave her first recital at the Kumho Prodigy Concert. She was invited by the Blue House (South Korea’s presidential office) to play for the King of Malaysia, and was also a guest musician at the Tongyeon Isangyun International Music Festival.

In 2013, You won first prize at the International Dotzauer Competition in Dresden. In the same year, she won second prize at the Oldenburg International Competition in Germany.

The following year, she was awarded first prize at the International Young Musician Competition in Tallinn, Estonia, as well as first prize at the Heran Violoncello Competition in the Czech Republic.

In 2017, You was invited to perform in a series of recitals by young musicians at the Mozart Hall. The following year, she was chosen as one of 12 cellists to play at the 20th anniversary Kumho Prodigy Concert (1998-2018 Here & Now).

At the 2019 Paris Music Competition, You was awarded the Prix d’Honneur and an opportunity to perform in a prestigious Parisian concert hall in 2020.

She has been studying in Paris since 2016. At the age of 14, she entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in Michel Strauss’ class.

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 founder and leader of the ‘Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle’ at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. A multiple award winner, he is acclaimed for his expressive musicianship, exuberant virtuosity, and for the deep sonority of his 1701 Matteo Goffriller cello.

Committed to exploring and expanding the cello repertoire, Capuçon performs an extensive array of works each season and regularly premieres new commissions. His current projects include performing the world premiere of Tabachnik’s cello concerto “Summer” and collaborations with Lera Auerbach, Danny Elfman, Thierry Esciach and Krzysztof Penderecki.

In the 19/20 season Capuçon appears with, amongst others, the philharmonic orchestras of Los Angeles/Philippe Jordan, Czech Republic/Semyon Bychkov, and Rotterdam/Valery Gergiev; the symphony orchestras of St. Louis/Stephen Deneve, Singapore/Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Bavarian Radio/Gianandrea Noseda; and hr-Sinfonieorchester/Alain Altingolu. He tours Europe and the USA with Leipzig Gewandhausorchester/Andris Nelsons and San Francisco/Michael Tilson Thomas, and is this season’s Artist-in-Residence with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano.

As a chamber musician, this season he performs on tour with Yuja Wang in venues such as Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Vienna Konzerthaus, Barbican Centre London, and Philharmonie Paris, as well as with Renaud Capuçon, Frank Braley, Jérôme Ducros, and Leonadis Kavakos. Other regular recital partners include Nicholas Angelich, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Lisa Batiashvili, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Artemis and Ébène quartets.

Recording exclusively for Erato (Warner Classics), Capuçon has won multiple awards and holds an extensive discography. His latest album of Schumann works was recorded live with Martha Argerich, Renaud Capuçon and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Bernard Haitink. Capuçon’s next album, to be released in December 2019, was recorded with Yuja Wang and features sonatas by Chopin and Franck. Earlier recordings include concertos by Shostakovich (Mariinsky Orchestra/Valery Gergiev) and Saint-Saëns (Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France/Lionel Bringuier); the complete Beethoven Sonatas with Frank Braley; Schubert’s String Quintet with the Ébène Quartet; and Intuition, an album of encores recorded with Paris Chamber Orchestra/Douglas Boyd and Jérôme Ducros.

Capuçon has been featured on DVD in live performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker/Gustavo Dudamel (Haydn Cello Concerto No.1) and with Lisa Batiashvili, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann (Brahm’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 from Autumn 2019 will be a guest presenter on Radio Classique.

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 Lionel Bringuier, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and collaborates with contemporary composers including Lera Auerbach, Karol Beffa, Esteban.

Benzecry, Nicola Campogrande, Qigang Chen, Bryce Dessner, Jerome 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.