Nontraditional French musical brothers, the Capucons

Share via

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

It is easy to imagine that a pair of French classical musical prodigies like the Capuçon brothers — who began to play their instruments before kindergarten — would not be particularly open to modernity. Given that Renaud, a leading violinist, and Gautier, a top cellist of his generation, are preparing to take part in a decidedly modern and Hollywood-flavored concert series in Los Angeles in early June, this would be a problem.

In a four-night run that starts June 2, les frères Capuçon will join the charismatic Venezuelan-born musical director Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in performing Brahms’ Double Concerto and Symphony No. 4 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The final June 5 afternoon show aims to offer an immersive sights-and-sounds experience that is slated to include rehearsal footage and live interviews with performers before and after the show — and it will be simulcast live in about 450 movie theaters around North America. This reality TV-meets-classical music spectacle will be hosted by actor John Lithgow.


So how do a pair of virtuosos known for their musical sensitivity, expressiveness and creative desire to work with people who they like and trust perceive the idea of invasive cameras projecting their preshow preparations and high art live to tens of thousands of moviegoers who pass by the concession stand?

Interviewed in the cafe of an old-school Parisian hotel recently, Renaud’s response was notably down to earth: “Beyond the magnificent music, the idea of people eating popcorn and drinking Cokes and watching us — a couple of French guys who show up in Los Angeles to play Brahms — is very exciting.”

To read more about the prodigal brothers, click here.

--Eric Pape