Gautier Capuçon has risen quickly through the ranks, becoming one of the leading French cellists of the twenty first century by his 20th birthday. His brother is renowned violinist Renaud Capuçon, with whom he often collaborates in works like the Beethoven Triple Concerto and in various chamber works. Like Mstislav Rostropovich before him, Capuçon is also an accomplished pianist. But his keyboard tastes expand beyond the realm of classical music and include jazz. What is remarkable about Capuçon is what he has managed to accomplish so soon: by his mid-twenties he had won two important competitions and appeared on nearly 20 major recordings with artists like Martha Argerich, Myung-Whun Chung, Nicholas Angelich, Lilya Zilberstein, and many others. Amazingly, too, his choice of repertory has been broad, taking in standards by Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Prokofiev, Martinu, and lesser knowns from the twentieth century such as Erwin Schulhoff, Hanns Eisler, and Éric Tanguy. Capuçon has recorded for EMI, Virgin Classics, and TDK.
Capuçon was born in Chambéry, France, on September 3, 1981. He began playing the cello at age four and the piano at seven. He enrolled at the École Nationale de Musique de Chambéry, where he studied both instruments. In his teens he studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where his teachers included Annie Cochet-Zakine. After his 1997 graduation, he enrolled for further study at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris for three more years, with, among others, cello pedagogue Philippe Muller.
While a student there Capuçon played cello in the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, and in 1999 he captured first prize in the André Navarra International Cello Competition. After graduation in 2000 Capuçon had further studies with Heinrich Schiff in Vienna. By then he was an active performer on the concert scene in Europe, appearing with major orchestras and conductors.
Among his earliest recordings were a pair of acclaimed CDs: Haydn Concertos No. 1, 2 & 4 with Daniel Harding and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra on EMI, and, with his brother, a Virgin Classics album of duets entitled Face À Face featuring works by Kodály, Halvorsen, and others. In 2007 Capuçon married Delphine Borsarello, also a talented cellist. Capuçon's newer recordings include the 2008 Virgin Classics CD of sonatas for cello and piano by Prokofiev and Rachmaninov.