Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle Gautier Capuçon

Promotion IV - Season 2017-2018

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Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle Gautier Capuçon

The Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle, created and led by Gautier Capuçon, is geared towards six young talented cellists from all over the world selected on the basis of an application dossier and live audition.


For its fourth season, the Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle returns to the Fondation auditorium from November 2017 and until June 2018.

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.




Gautier Capuçon



“It’s 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 2017/18 Capuçon will appear as soloist in a number of orchestral tours across Europe, the US and in Asia. In Europe he will tour with Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Wiener Symphoniker (Philippe Jordan), and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. In the US he will tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Charles Dutoit) and the National Center for Performing Arts; and in Asia with hr-Sinfonieorchester (Andres Orozco-Estrada) and as part of the Verbier Festival with Gabor Takacz. Other concerto highlights include return performances with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (Herbert Blomstedt), Wiener Philharmoniker (Semyon Bychkov), Orchestre de Paris (Yu Long), San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (Stephen Deneve), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (Mirga Graþinytë-Tyla) and London Philharmonia (Paavo Jäarvi).


Last season Capuçon appeared with, among others, London Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Berliner Philharmoniker, Münchner Philharmoniker, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. Over recent years he has also performed with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, 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. Highlights this season include a return to Carnegie Hall (with Daniil Trifonov), an extensive international recital tour with duo partner Jérôme Ducros, supporting the international release of the album ‘Intuition’ featuring the same repertoire, and performances at Verbier Festival with: Lisa Batiashvili, Christoph Eschenbach, Janine Jansen, Leonidas Kavakos, Yuja Wang and Tabea Zimmermann. Other artists with whom Capuçon regularly performs include Nicholas Angelich, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Frank Braley, Renaud Capuçon, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Menahem Pressler, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and the Artemis and Ébène quartets.


Gautier Capuçon continues to work regularly with conductors such as Charles Dutoit, Semyon Bychkov, Valery Gergiev, Gustavo Dudamel, Lionel Bringuier, Andris Nelsons, Christoph Eschenbach, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and collaborates with contemporary composers including, amongst others, Lera Auerbach, Karol Beffa, Esteban Benzecry, Nicola Campogrande, Qigang Chen, Jerome Ducros, Henry Dutilleux, Thierry Escaich, Philippe Manoury, Bruno Mantovani, Krzysztof Penderecki, Wolfgang Rihm, and Jörg Widmann.


Recording exclusively for Erato (Warner Classics), Capuçon and has won multiple ECHO Klassik awards and holds an extensive discography. In 2016/17 he released Beethoven Sonatas with Frank Braley to critical acclaim. Other recent recordings include Shostakovich’s Cello Concertos with the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev; and Schubert’s String Quintet with Quatuor Ébène. 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. To be released beginning of 2018: Intuition, with the Paris Chamber Orchestra conducted by Douglas Boyd, and Jérôme Ducros, piano.


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.

@gautiercapucon. Instagram/Twitter        

Samuel Parent



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.

Anouchka HACK

21 years old

German, lives in Lübeck (Germany)


Anouchka Hack is acclaimed by audience and press for her expressive sound and vast musicality. With her captivating stage presence and her devoted interpretations, she convinces both as a soloist and in a Duo with her sister, pianist Katharina Hack.    

Born 1996 in Antwerp, Anouchka Hack grew up in a family of musicians in Germany.  Since her debut as a soloist in 2010, she has been performing with numerous orchestras, including the Dortmunder Philharmoniker, the Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock and the Französische Kammerphilharmonie, with a wide range of repertoire reaching from the big solo concertos to double concertos and the triple concerto by Beethoven.


Anouchka Hack has been invited to play in various festivals, such as the Festival van Flandern, the International Music Festival Buxtehude and the Euregio Musikfestival. In 2017, she performed the Schumann concerto at Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.


Together with pianist Katharina Hack, she performs at venues such as Beethovenhaus Bonn, Gasteig Munich and Kolosseum Lübeck. The duo has been broadcasted by the German radio stations NDR and WDR. In 2017, they were granted the “Young Artist Award” of the International Music Festival Buxtehude.


At masterclasses with David Geringas, Philippe Muller, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Jens-Peter Maintz and Ivan Monighetti, Anouchka Hack has gained further artistic inspiration and impulses as a cellist.  In 2015 she won the furtherance prize in the Possehl competition. She has been given scholarships by the Dörken – Foundation, Richard-Wagner Verband and the Possehl Foundation. Since 2014 she has been studying with Prof. Troels Svane in Lübeck.    

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.



24 years old

French, lives in Paris (Fance)


Caroline Sypniewski was born in Toulouse, France, in 1992 and first began studying the cello with Blandine Boyer at that city’s Conservatoire, where she regularly received guidance from Lluis Claret. She then pursued her studies at Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional in Paris before continuing on to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, studying under Jérôme Pernoo.


She honed her skills with prominent musicians such as Gary Hoffman, Ivan Monighetti, Marc Coppey, François Salque, Wolfgang Boettcher and Colin Carr, taking part in numerous masterclasses and academies, including the Académie de Villecroze, the Cello Masterclasses in Kronberg, Amsterdam’s Cello Biennale, the Académie Internationale de Musique Maurice Ravel and the Carl Flesch Akademie, where Caroline was invited to give a solo performance of Dvorak’s Concerto in B Minor in 2015, then Haydn’s Concerto No. 1 in 2016 with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra.


With a strong penchant for chamber music, she has formed a string trio with her two sisters, Magdalena and Anna. She is also involved in many projects, such as the Seiji Ozawa International Academy for string quartets, the Centre de Musique de Chambre de Paris, and performs recitals or chamber music at numerous festivals, especially in France: Festival de la Vézère, Festival Pablo Casals in Prades, Festival International de Musique de Chambre de Salon-de-Provence, Tons Voisins, Festival Jeunes Talents, Notes d’été in Irancy, and Les Rencontres de Calenzana. She has also made several radio appearances, including the programmes of hosts Gaëlle le Gallic and Arièle Butaux on French classical music station France Musique.

Throughout her career, she has performed under the direction of prestigious conductors, including Tugan Sokhiev, Hebert Bloomstedt, Myung Whun Chung and Philippe Jordan, and garnered great attention at auditions for the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, the Académie de l'Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France and the Orchestre de Paris.


Caroline was named the ADAMI’s 2017 Révélation Classique, has received a grant from the Fondation Safran, was awarded the Bonnat-Helleu prize, the Grand Prix of the city of Ciboure at the Académie Internationale de Musique Maurice Ravel, and the Ginette Neveu prize at the Carl Flesch Akademie.



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.

The essential

Promotion IV - Season 2017-2018



Public masterclasses

24-27 November 2017

25 et 26 November, 11.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.


16-18 December 2017

16 & 17 December, 11.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.  


21-23 January 2018

21 January, 11.30 a.m. -13.30


22 January, 12.30 a.m. - 2.30 p.m.


31 March – 2 April 2018

31 March and 1st April, 11.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.



19-21 May 2018

20 May, 11.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.


21 May, 12h30 a.m. - 2.30 p.m.


13-16 June 2018

15 June, 12.30 a.m. - 2.30 p.m.


16 June, 11.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.


16 June, 8.30 p.m. : Closing concert with Gautier Capuçon, Samuel Parent and the 6 laureates.


24-27 November 2017


26 November, 5.30 p.m. - 7 p.m.


16-18 December 2017


17 December, 5.30 p.m. - 7 p.m.  


21-23 January 2018


21 January, 5.30 p.m. - 7 p.m. : Laureates concert


31 March – 2 April 2018


1st April, 5.30 p.m. - 7 p.m.  


19-21 May 2018


20 May, 5.30 p.m. - 7 p.m.



16 June, 8.30 p.m. : Closing concert with Gautier Capuçon, Samuel Parent and the 6 laureates.


Promotion IV - Saison 2017-2018
Promotion IV - Auditions

Promotion IV - Annonce des résultats

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