Born in Chambéry in 1976, Renaud Capuçon began his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris at the age of fourteen, winning numerous awards during his five years there. Following this, Capuçon moved to Berlin to study with Thomas Brandis and Isaac Stern, and was awarded the Prize of the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1997, he was invited by Claudio Abbado to become concert master of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, which he led for three summers, working with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Moest and Abbado himself.
Since then, Capuçon has established himself as a soloist at the very highest level. He has played concerti with orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker under Haitink and Robertson, the Boston Symphony under Dohnanyi, the Orchestre de Paris under Eschenbach and Paavo Järvi, Philharmonique de Radio France and Filarmonica della Scala orchestras with Chung, Orchestre National de France and Gatti and Gergiev, and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic with Dudamel.
Recent concerto engagements include concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra with François-Xavier Roth, Chamber Orchestra of Europe with Jaap can Zweden, Detroit Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin, Los Angeles Philharmonic with Matthias Pintscher and Camerata Salzburg with Robin Ticciati.
Capuçon also tours extensively as a solo recitalist and will perform in play directs with various groups such as Camerata Salzburg, Festival Strings Lucerne and Basel Chamber Orchestra.
Capuçon has a great commitment to chamber music and has worked with Argerich, Nicholas Angelich, Barenboim, Bronfman, Yuja Wang, Buniatishvili, Grimaud, Pires, Pletnev, Repin, Bashmet and Mørk, as well as with his brother, cellist Gautier Capuçon. These collaborations have taken him, among others, to the festivals of Edinburgh, Berlin, Lucerne, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Roque d’Anthéron, San Sebastian, Stresa, Tanglewood and Salzburg.
He is the Artistic Director of the Easter Festival in Aix-en-Provence which he founded in 2013 and was appointed Artistic Director of the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad in 2016. He is teaching violin at the High School of Music in Lausanne since 2014.
Recording exclusively with Erato/Warner Classics, Capuçon has built an extensive discography. Recent releases include Bach and Vasks Concertos as conductor and soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and Brahms and Berg Concertos with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Daniel Harding. His latest chamber music recording is a disc of Frank, Grieg and Dvorak sonatas with Khatia Buniatishvili. His recording of Fauré’s complete chamber music for strings with Nicholas Angelich, Gautier Capuçon, Michel Dalberto, Gérard Caussé and Ebène Quartet won the Echo Klassik Prize for chamber music in 2012. His compilation “Le Violon Roi” received the “Disque d’Or” and his latest recording of contemporary concerti by Rihm, Dusapin and Montovani was nominated the best recording by French Victoires de la Musique 2017 and awarded the Echo Klassik Prize in 2017.
Renaud Capuçon plays the Guarneri del Gesù “Panette” (1737) that belonged to Isaac Stern.
In June 2011 he was appointed “Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite” and in March 2016 “Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur” by the French Government.
Few musicians epitomize the term of the ‘exceptional artist’ better than Kit Armstrong. Born in 1992 in Los Angeles, he is described as “the amazement‐causing artist who can only be described as a musical phenomenon” by German magazine Süddeutsche Zeitung. With 27 years he not only demonstrates extraordinary aptitude at the piano but also at the organ, at the conductor’s desk as well as being a composer in great demand. Since earliest youth Armstrong fascinates the audience in major international venues such as Vienna Musikverein, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, NHK Hall Tokyo, and Palais des Beaux‐Arts Brussels.
Armstrong collaborates with many of the world’s most sought‐after conductors including Christian Thielemann, Herbert Blomstedt, Riccardo Chailly, Kent Nagano, Manfred Honeck, Esa‐Pekka Salonen, Mario Venzago, and Thomas Dausgaard. He has been a guest at some of the world’s finest orchestras, among them the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. In Summer 2018 Kit Armstrong was artist‐in‐residence at the Mecklenburg‐Vorpommern Festival and has been appointed as “Artist‐in‐Resonance” by the Musikkollegium Winterthur. In the same year he received the Beethoven‐Ring by the German society “Bürger für Beethoven” following the footsteps of Igor Levit, Gustavo Dudamel, and Lisa Batiashvili.
Highlights of season 2019/20 include concerts with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. He will tour with the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra in Europe. Piano recitals will bring him to the Vienna Concert Hall, Lincoln Centre in New York, Rheingau Music Festival, Munich Prinzregententheater, Piano Festival Ruhr, and Schubertiade Hohenems among others. Engagements as organist include concerts at the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Konzerthaus, and at the Bruckner Festival Linz. He gave his acclaimed debut as conductor at the Mecklenburg‐Vorpommern Festival in 2018 with an outstanding rendition of Händel’s oratorio Theodora. In 2020 he will be a guest conductor with the Bochumer Symphoniker.
Being a passionate chamber musician Kit Armstrong works regularly with other leading instrumentalists and singers such as Renaud Capuҫon, Daniel Müller‐Schott, Quatuor Ebène, Armida Quartett, Christiane Karg, and Julian Prégardien. As an organist he appeared in recitals at the Berlin Philharmonie, Mosel Musikfestival, and the Cologne Philharmonie.
The versatile artist established a great reputation with his compositions which are published by Edition Peters. Commissioners include the Gewandhaus Leipzig, Schubertiade Hohenems, BASF Ludwigshafen, Dortmund Concert Hall and the Musikkollegium Winterthur. His debut recording with works by Bach, Ligeti and Armstrong was released in September 2013 by Sony Classical as “one of the very few CDs that the world was waiting for” (Kulturradio RBB). His second album Symphonic Scenes was released 2015 by Sony Classical and received enthusiastic reviews for his interpretation of an exceptional program of piano works primarily composed for orchestra by Liszt.
Kit Armstrong studied music at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and continued and finished his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. At age of seven, he started studying composition at Chapman University and physics at California State University, later also chemistry and mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania and mathematics at the Imperial College London. He earned a master’s degree in pure mathematics at the University of Paris VI.
At the age of thirteen, Armstrong met Alfred Brendel who has guided him as a teacher and mentor ever since. Their unique relationship was captured in the film Set the Piano Stool on Fire by Mark Kidel.
Today Armstrong resides in Vienna nearby Salzburg as well as in the former church Sainte‐Thérèse‐de-l’Enfant Jésus in the French city of Hirson, organizing concerts on a regular basis.