- Music -
An extremely joyful man
Renaud CAPUÇON is one of the world’s five best violinists. At 40 years old, this PEERLESS musician is as happy as can be. He has always ENJOYED life to the full and is a gifted individual who has built himself a brilliant international career. He gives 120 CONCERTS a year as a soloist and teaches at the Conservatoire in Lausanne, as well as heading two festivals in Gstaad and at Aix-en-Provence.
Has your passion for music, which you have been nurturing for 36 years, helped you achieve fulfillment?
Yes, this passion for the violin has been the key to happiness and my family has also greatly contributed to my fulfillment. During my childhood, these two factors played a decisive role. Both brought me joy and a certain balance. I began playing the violin at the age of four and by the time I was eight years old I knew I wanted to be a professional musician. I always enjoyed playing,
going to classes to learn and progress. There were some tougher times when I worked like crazy, but joy predominated in my experience.
Something that has doubtless brought you much joy is the fact of reaching the peak of your profession; how did you achieve such a high level in music?
It’s difficult to explain, but probably stems from a combination of determination and passion: this love of music has definitely motivated me and driven me to where I now am. What’s more, my parents were amazing right from the start. Others might not have believed in me, but they did everything they could for me to become a violinist. They actively encouraged me to persevere and succeed.
Working on a new piece in your repertoire obviously brings you joy; what stirs this desire?
That depends above all on a given period in my career and on my personal maturity. When my son was born six years ago, my life changed considerably and my way of hearing music is a little different. So musical choices vary at different times. I would say I let my instinct guide me in such matters.
Which musician would you say has written the most joyful musical scores?
I think Mozart wrote a great many joyful pieces. Brahms tends to be more melancholic, but he also created some more cheerful and jubilant music, and then of course there is
Bach. But each composer has joyful moments and others that are less so, apart from certain exceptions like Schubert, whose work is pervaded by a more poignant, wistful tone.
In a philharmonic orchestra, which instruments do you think best express joy?
I would opt for the oboe, the trumpet and the flute.
Apart from music, what makes you joyful?
Definitely my family! I need to share my joy with my son Eliott, my wife Laurence (Editor’s Note: famous journalist Laurence Ferrari) as well as my friends. For me, joy relates to sharing. When I walk in the mountains or by the seaside, I am happy to make the most of these moments with the people I love. The same goes for musical joy; when you play, you naturally want to convey your happiness.
Renaud Capuçon, do you feel your life is complete?
Absolutely! Perhaps because I’m 40 years old and I have a son and a wife whom I love very dearly. On a professional level, I am now able to accept projects that appeal to me and to refuse those that do not. I am lucky to be able to choose and I realize what a privilege that is.
Based on an interview by Anouk Julien-Blanco