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Fondation Gautier Capuçon, a Look back at the Highlights of a First Year


Fondation Gautier Capuçon has a three-fold mission: allocating study grants to young musicians to help them continue their studies and broaden their skills, programming laureate’s concerts and opening acts of concerts by established musicians, recording once a year an album with one or several laureates.

A Long-standing Engagement Is Now a Long-standing Project

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, cellist Gautier Capuçon launched a foundation bearing his name to help young musicians in their studies and the first steps of their career.  It is a project he “had been thinking about for years” knowing how difficult it was to start a career, and the pandemic just made things worse for young musicians.

Although he had already been involved in numerous initiatives to support young artists and contributed to many solidarity events, the famous cellist decided to create his own project “Fondation Gautier Capuçon” in December 2021.

Its actions fully focus on 18-to 25-year-old musicians who have graduated from a national higher conservatory (or an equivalent abroad) or obtained a conservatory prize, but also young musicians who have a project to pursue their studies.

membre foundation et Kim
Frank Bradley (Pianist and member of the foundation Artistic Committee), Kim Bernard (Pianist and 2022 laureate), Danuta Pieter (General Delegate of the Foundation) and Gautier Capuçon

Its mission is three-fold: allocating study grants to young musicians to help them continue their studies and broaden their skills, programming laureate’s concerts and opening acts of concerts by established musicians, recording once a year an album with one or several laureates.

A First Intense Year

As the foundation’s first anniversary is around the corner, we met with Danuta Pieter, General delegate of the Foundation. She is pleased to report that “the Foundation’s mission has been more than welcomed”. After the first call for applications was launched in March 2022, the Foundation indeed received a huge number of requests from young musicians.

The Foundation’s artistic committee, chaired by Gautier Capuçon, selected 11 laureates in 2022 for their outstanding talent from 7 different countries including Italy, Turkey, China, Canada, Morocco, South Korea and France.

There is a real need, and a particular request from young musicians to perform on stage. Thanks to generous donations, the foundation programmed twenty concerts in 2022 and recorded the first album of the collection “la Fondation Gautier Capuçon présente” featuring the 23 year old pianist Kim Bernard.

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In addition, the foundation initiated a partnership with the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (also known as Sciences Po) to offer the laureates the opportunity to pursue their education with workshops currently lacking in their musical education. No doubt that these workshops –such as communication or career management- will be useful throughout their career.

Music for Support, Support for musicians

On April 12, 2022 the Ambassador of France in Ukraine invited Gautier to perform in Lviv. Gautier and his faithful pianist friend, Frank Braley, member of the Artistic Committee of the Foundation, gave two exceptional concerts at the Lviv Philharmonic Theatre.  “It was an intense and moving moment and a chance to reaffirm the place of music also as a vehicle for peace.”

The fondation Gautier Capuçon wanted to do more to be supportive of Ukrainian musical conservatory students, who had to stop their studies. Four violinists and pianists were thus granted scholarships by the foundation to help them pursue their dreams and continue their studies abroad with their instruments.

First Encouraging Results

The foundation project has generated great enthusiasm from young musicians, but also from seasoned musicians, theatres, venues, philanthropists and music lovers. Pieter says: “The future of the foundation is exciting. The enthusiasm within and around the foundation is high and many bright ideas emerged throughout the year.”

Gautier capucon and laureates

Some of the 2022 laureates gathered in Paris in September, with Gautier Capuçon and Danuta Pieter.

The foundation is determined to gradually broaden the scope of its actions and to build a sustainable project that will reach a larger population. Today, the project gathers a growing family of laureates but also of seasoned musicians as well as a wider circle of music lovers and philanthropists.

The aim of the foundation is mainly to support young musicians through the allocation of scholarships but also through initiatives to prepare them in the beginning of their career. For example, the foundation helps young stringed instruments players and pianists to find opportunities to perform in live settings and go on stage, which is even more important nowadays. The partnership with Sciences Po is another good illustration of these complementary initiatives.

A True Friendship with the Americans

Gautier Capuçon has a long history with the USA and has travelled there every year for a long time. He regularly gives concerts all over the country, as there is a true friendship between him and the American audience.

This Franco-American friendship in the musical world isn’t faked. It has for instance facilitated things for a young and talented Franco-Polish viola player laureate of the foundation, who is now studying at Colburn, in Los Angeles. It helps to contribute to the foundation’s mission to build bridges for music students.

As the last couple of years have been a time of withdrawal all over the world, the foundation finds it even more important to create bridges between the continents, and to encourage exchanges especially for the young generation during their studies.  The foundation wishes to reinforce Europe-USA links for young musicians so they can enrich their musical cursus in another language, with a greater variety of teaching methods.

Partnering with Friends of Fondation de France

Fondation Gautier Capuçon can count on the support of Friends of Fondation de France to carry on its mission. Thanks to this solid and trustworthy partnership, US donors who want to make a difference in the life of young musicians can support Fondation Gautier Capuçon project and their contributions will be tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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