Renaud Capuçon was born in Chambéry, France, in 1976. From the age of 14 he studied at the Paris Conservatory, where his most important teachers were Gérard Poulet and Veda Reynolds. He won first prize there in chamber music performance in 1992, and three years later won the Prize of the Berlin Academy of the Arts. Capuçon then had further studies with Thomas Brandis in Berlin, and would soon take lessons from the most renowned of his teachers, the late Isaac Stern. It is Stern's 1737 Guarneri del Gesù violin that Capuçon uses in performance.
Capuçon accepted an offer in 1997 from conductor Claudio Abbado to serve as concertmaster of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, a post he would hold for three summers (1998-2000). In 1999 Capuçon began recording exclusively for Virgin Classics and has since amassed a discography of more than 20 CDs and DVDs, some as a secondary player in works recorded for other labels.
In the new century Capuçon has made numerous distinguished debuts with leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, under Haitink (2002), and the Boston Symphony, under Dohnányi (2004). He has appeared in concert across Europe, Asia, and North America and has also made regular appearances at major festivals, such as the London Mostly Mozart, Lucerne, Aix-en-Provence, and Tanglewood. Among Capuçon's recordings is the 2007 Virgin Classics CD of Schubert trios, with Gautier Capuçon on cello and Frank Braley on piano.