Lucien Capet

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Lucien Capet
Portrait of Lucien Capet.jpg
Background information
Born 8 January 1873
France Paris, France
Died 18 December 1928(1928-12-18) (aged 55)
Paris, France
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Pedagogue, Violinist, Composer
Instruments Violin
Years active 1887–1928

Lucien Louis Capet (8 January 1873 – 18 December 1928) was a French violinist, pedagogue and composer.[1]


Capet came from the Paris proletariat. By the age of fifteen, he had to maintain himself by playing in bistros and cafes. He studied at the Conservatoire de Paris where he was a pupil of Jean-Pierre Maurin and later appeared as soloist with French orchestras. Between 1896 - 1899 he was the concertmaster of l'Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux. He also taught violin at the Société Sainte-Cécile de Bordeaux (1899–1903). His notable students include Jascha Brodsky and Ivan Galamian, both of whom became influential violin teachers of the latter part of the twentieth century.

Jascha Brodsky's students include: Hilary Hahn, Joseph de Pasquale, Leila Josefowicz, Joey Corpus, Juliette Kang, Judith Ingolfsson, Herbert Greenberg and Chin Kim.

Ivan Galamian's students include Sally Thomas (who became his assistant), Michael Rabin, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Isidor Lateiner, Kyung-wha Chung, Glenn Dicterow, David Nadien, Erick Friedman, Jaime Laredo, Arnold Steinhardt, Charles Castleman, Miriam Fried, James Buswell, Sergiu Luca, Charles Treger, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Kaoru Kakudo, Ray Dotoratos, Chin Kim, Eugene Fodor, Daniel Phillips, Berl Senofsky, Betty Jean Hagen, Young Uck Kim, Stuart Canin, Eugene Sarbu, Dong-Suk Kang, Gregory Fulkerson, Simon Standage, and Kate Stenberg of Del Sol Quartet.

Lucien Capet had a successful career as a soloist and chamber musician, forming the Capet Quartet in 1893.[2] The quartet went through many changes of personnel and made several recordings of Beethoven string quartets and Romantic and Classical works.[3] Capet was also a well-regarded teacher, known especially for his bow technique.

With the violinist and chamber musician Suzanne Chaigneau, Capet founded the Institut moderne du violin in 1924.[4]

Capet wrote a book on "Superior Bowing Technique" which is an essential treatise on all aspects of bowing technique for the violin; reprints are available (including translations into English by Margaret Schmidt and Stephen Shipps).

Lucien Capet also worked closely with bowmaker Joseph Arthur Vigneron to develop a Lucien Capet model bow (modele Lucien Capet was often stamped on such bows). Vigneron's concept /design for these bows was a sort of rounded triangular cross section which added stability to the bow (lower centre of gravity)."[5]




  • Le Rouet, poème symphonique
  • Prélude religieux for orchestra
  • Devant la mer for voice and orchestra
  • Poème for violin and orchestra
  • 5 string quartets
  • 2 sonatas for violin and piano
  • 6 études for violin
  • Aria in A minor for violin, viola and piano, Op. 5 (1908)

Recordings by the Quatuor Capet[edit]

(Made c.1925-1930)

  • Beethoven: Quartet in A major op 18 no 5 (Columbia Records, D 1659-62).
  • Beethoven: Quartet in F major op 59 no 1 (Col. D 15065-70).
  • Beethoven: Quartet in E flat major 'Harp', op 74 (Col., L 2248-51).
  • Beethoven: Quartet in C sharp minor, op 131 (Col., L 2283-87).
  • Beethoven: Quartet in A minor, op 132 (Col., L 2272-76).
  • Mozart: Quartet in C major K 465 (Col., L 2290-93).
  • Schumann: Quartet in A minor op 41 no 1 (Col., L 2329-31).
  • Debussy: Quartet in G minor op 10 (1893) (Col., D 15085-8).
  • Franck: Quintet in F minor, with Marcel Ciampi (pno) (Col., D 15102-6).
  • Haydn: Quartet in D major op 64 no 5 'Lark' (Col., D 13070-2).
  • Ravel: Quartet in F major (Col., D 15057-60).
  • Schubert: Quartet in D minor 'Death and the Maiden' (Col. D 15053-6).


  • A. Eaglefield-Hull, A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians (Dent, London 1924).
  • L. Capet, Technique de l'Archet.
  • R.D. Darrell, The Gramophone Shop Encyclopedia of Recorded Music (New York, 1936).
  • Memoirs of Carl Flesch
  • Encyclopedia of the Violin - Alberto Bachmann

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ The name 'Capet' is connected with the dynasty which ruled in France from the tenth to the eighteenth century: Louis XVI was, during the French Revolution, referred to as Louis Capet.
  2. ^ Robert Casadesus & Lucien Capet
  3. ^ Lucien Capet Quartet Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Massin B. Les Joachim – Une famille de musiciens. Fayard, Paris, 1999.
  5. ^ Filimonov Fine Violins
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of the Violin - Alberto Bachmann

External links[edit]