In the beautiful surroundings of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, in Paris, we had the pleasure of meeting Gautier Capuçon and the students of the Classe d’excellence de Violoncelle. Mr Capuçon, a longtime friend of Laurits Th. Larsen, had invited us to come and meet the class for a talk about strings.

From the very first moment after our arrival, the concert hall of the foundation Louis Vuitton charmed us with its lightness. Through the high windows on both sides of the scene, a waterfall and high mirrors brought light and peace into the hall. Inside the hall, the high intensity of the masterclass and the deep concentration of the players captivated us.

In his teaching, Gautier Capuçon is very demanding, requiring the outmost from the young musicians, and this, always in a friendly and respectful manner. Working with Mr Capuçon through different pieces, the young musicians reflect upon the specific character of the music they play. The teaching is further enhanced by the wonderful support of Samuel Parent, who accompanies the cellists on the piano.

During the session, we contributed to the class with a workshop about strings. Our purpose was to help the young cellists acquire a better understanding of how strings are made, and how they can influence an instrument. Our hope is that this knowledge will help them in their search of the perfect set-up for the different instruments which they will have the pleasure of playing through their career.

Through the workshop, we also tried many strings. For Mr Capuçon, who plays a Matteo Goffriller cello built in 1701 strung with the Magnacore strong strings, we tried a new improved D string, which he really liked. By the end of the class, all cellists had switched to the Magnacore strings. Charles Hervet, Marion Platero and Armance Quéro chose the Magnacore medium, while Joona Pulkkinen preferred the Magnacore strong strings. Stéphane Tétreault, who plays the 1707 “Countess of Stainlein, Ex-Paganini” Stradivarius and Julia Hagen, who plays a Ruggieri, chose a combination of Magnacore and Magnacore Arioso for their instruments which could benefit from the lower tension of the strings.

Thank you Gautier Capuçon, Stéphane Tétreault, Charles Hervet, Marion Platero, Joona Pulkkinen, Armance Quéro and Julia Hagen for welcoming us in your class.

We couldn’t do it without you.