Lucien Capet: The French Connection


Tully Potter examines the life and legacy of French violinist Lucien Capet

Discover more Featured Stories like this in The Strad Playing Hub

Read more premium content for subscribers here

French violinists of the old school were not usually noted for humility, but Lucien Capet was an exception – he did not adhere to most rules. Perhaps his childhood poverty had made him realise how lucky he was. In any case, it was through sheer talent that he gained a central place in French cultural life. We remember him as a great quartet leader and the guru of the bow, and in the 150th anniversary year of his birth it is fitting to take another look at him.

Born Louis-Lucien Capet in Paris on 8 January 1873, he first learnt the violin with Jules Jumas. His parents frankly exploited his musical talent – he had to play in cafés or cheap dives, or even as a busker. At 15 he entered the Paris Conservatoire to study with Jean-Pierre Maurin, a disciple of Paul Guérin, Pierre Baillot and François-Antoine Habeneck and a grandpupil of Giovanni Battista Viotti…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.