Renaud Capuçon

La 5 édition du festival de Pâques d’Aix-en-Provence se tient du 10 au 23 avril dans divers lieux de la ville, pour une vingtaine de concerts.

The fifth Easter Festival in Aix-en-Provence, April 10 to 23, featuring some 20 concerts in various venues around the city.

Meet this virtuoso violinist and director of the Easter Festival as he talks about his career and shares his most special place, in images and words.

Renaud Capuçon, violinist, artistic director and father, makes the most of his time. The concert hall is his playground (120 concerts per year); it’s where he can experiment while feeling completely at ease. Bringing people together and creating collectively is what anchors him to music, a language that gives depth to life. He discovered the magic of performing thanks to Carlo Maria Giulini; playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at age 19 under the conductor’s direction, he felt like he was taking flight. As with singing, breathing is critical; the conductor’s beat regulates the breath and connects the orchestra to the score. Capuçon tries to transmit this aspiration to young violinists in addition to technique and says that teaching helps him grow. He plays on the Guarneri that was used by Isaac Stern, “the violin of his life,” a conviction he felt from the very first notes, with the “impression of going from three colors to a million.” He makes it sing in selected works, from Bach to Dusapin and Mantovani. He likes varied programs, flexibility and curiosity, and draws on this when planning festival programs. With small ensembles, he also gets to conduct“the organic art that shapes music.” Capuçon is a generous storyteller.

“The place where I feel most at home . . . The Musikverein in Vienna, the concert hall where I have performed most oftentwo or three times a year for 20 years. Brahms premiered his works there, all the great composers have played there: it is very inspirational, with an aura and good vibes, and it still has wooden music stands. It also has windows, so it is flooded with daylight. That’s unusual. It’s the place that is most emblematic of my musical happiness, of the concerts I’ve heard. It has a musical harmony all of its own. I gave my first concert as a solo violinist there, with Claudio Abbado conducting.” [Editor’s note: in 1986, Abbado created the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in Vienna.]


Jean-Claude Biver