Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lucien Capet

Lucien Capet (Lucien Louis Capet) was a French violinist, teacher, and composer born on January 8, 1873 (Brahms was 40 years old.)  He is remembered for his book on bow technique, Superior Bowing Technique (1916), and for being the teacher of Ivan Galamian, Jascha Brodsky, Charles Munch, and Mario Dias de Figueiredo.  In fact, thanks to Capet, Galamian emphasized bow technique over most everything else.  I do not know who his teachers were when he was a child but he later studied at the Paris Conservatory where he was a pupil of someone named Morin.  He appeared as soloist with many French orchestras, but especially the Lamoureux Orchestra, of which he was concertmaster from 1896 to 1899.  Capet had been supporting himself by playing in dance halls and cafes since he was fifteen.  From 1899 to 1903, he taught at the Society of Saint Cecilia School.  With Henri Casadesus on viola and Marcel Casadesus on cello (uncles of pianist Robert Casadesus) he formed the Capet Quartet in 1893.  In 1924, Capet and fellow violinist Suzanne Chaigneau founded the Modern Violin Institute.  Between 1925 and 1930, after several changes in personnel, the Capet Quartet recorded at least 12 quartets – 5 of them by Beethoven and the others by Mozart, Haydn, Ravel, Debussy, Schumann, Franck, and Schubert.  Josef Gingold heard the quartet perform in Brussels in 1928 and many years later said that it was the greatest string quartet concert he had ever heard.  It was an all-Beethoven program.  There is an audio file on YouTube of the Capet Quartet playing Mozart.  Capet also wrote three string quartets which are now completely forgotten.  He died on December 18, 1928, at age 55. 


  1. This is micro biography number 210.

  2. In the history of the world, there are more than 210 outstanding violinists - I am searching for more.