Verney was first solo violist of the Paris Opera for more than 35 years and was closely associated with the Bayreuth Festival
French violist Laurent Verney has been killed in a road accident in Paris. Verney, who was 61, was cycling when his bike was struck by a vehicle.
Verney was born in Clérieux, Rhone-Alpes and studied viola with Serge Collot at the Paris Conservatoire from 1980 to 1984. Shortly afterwards, at the age of just 25, Verney was appointed first solo violist of the Paris Opera orchestra, a position he held until his death.
Verney joined the faculty of the Conservatoire à Rayonnemenet Régional (CRR) in 1986 and appeared as a soloist with ensembles including the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. He was closely associated with the music of Wagner and for many years was solo violist of the Bayreuth Festival orchestra.
CRR director Xavier Delette said that Verney ‘carried within him a light that was nourish by art. He passed it on to his students while giving them all the skills and energy required to realise their passion in the professional world. We are in mourning.’