Victor Julien-Laferrière, who won first prize at last year’s prestigious, international Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, is newly chosen as the winner of the 2018 Victoire de la Musique Classique in the category of instrumental soloist.
This Paris-trained musician is the new face of French cello, effortlessly executing the major classical works of his repertoire (such as Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3 in C major, which placed the cello centre-stage when the instrument had long been considered inferior to the viola da gamba) alongside those of the 20th century: in Trois Strophes sur le Nom de Sacher by Henri Dutilleux, the cello is given a new language with which to serve as exquisite ambassador of a profoundly moving opus. The poetic world of Dutilleux dialogues with Hungarian Zoltàn Kodaly through the latter’s too-rare Sonata for Solo Cello. Composed in 1915, this work combines majestic virtuosity with memories drawn from popular music, extracting unprecedented sound from the cello: fiddle, cimbalom and percussion are born of the musician’s bow in this work.