Renaud Capuçon’s fascination with music began early: when he started to play the violin at the age of four, he immediately felt a passion for the instrument. “I realized,” says the artist, “that was the reason why I existed.” From then on, he had only one goal: to become a musician. Renaud Capuçon went to great lengths to achieve this goal. For example, as a 14-year-old, he commuted around 600 kilometres every week between his home town of Chambéry at the foot of the Savoy Alps and Paris, in order to study at the conservatory there. He later moved to Berlin, where he continued his studies with Thomas Brandis, the former first concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker, and Isaac Stern. In 1997, Claudio Abbado invited the violinist to become concertmaster of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. Five years later, Renaud Capuçon made his debut as soloist with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Since then, he has not only been a regular guest of this orchestra but is also an internationally sought-after soloist, appearing with many leading orchestras. Another important facet of his work is chamber music, in which he frequently collaborates with his brother, the cellist Gautier Capuçon. Renaud Capuçon likes to point out that – although French – he is partial to German repertoire. He is considered an ideal Mozart interpreter because of his delicate, smooth but expressive tone. The violinist, who will also conduct during this concert, plays the “Panette” violin made by Giuseppe Guarneri (“del Gesù”) in 1737, which belonged to Isaac Stern.