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The Capriccio Stravagante Prize recognizes, supports and encourages exceptional
individuality and talent in young musicians in Renaissance and Baroque music.

Performers are chosen with regard to future investment in a musician's
originality, insight and potential, rather than past accomplishments.

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Raphaël Pichon - 2011       Josh Cheatham - 2006       Julien Martin - 2002       Olivier Fortin - 1998

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The Capriccio Stravagante Prize offers

Artistic development that transcends a single event

Extensive experience in rehearsal and performance through
concerts and recordings with Skip Sempé and Capriccio Stravagante, including
programming ranging from chamber music to large vocal and instrumental ensembles

Management services that encourage international concert activities and co-productions

Training in state of the art techniques of recording production
and post-production with Skip Sempé and the Paradizo team

Privileged visits to public and private collections of important musical instruments

Assistance with acquisitions and loans of musical instruments

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The Capriccio Stravagante Prize was established in 1998 to honor the memory of Michel Murgier,
whose work represented a model of enthusiastic commitment to exuberant and communicative virtuosity.


Born in 1984, Raphaël Pichon began his musical life in the children’s choir of the Petits Chanteurs of Versailles, before studying singing, violin and piano at the Conservatoire de Rayonnement Régional and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Starting out as a young countertenor, his career led him to sing under the direction of Jordi Savall, Gustav Leonhardt and Ton Koopman, but also Geoffroy Jourdain with whom he initiated work on contemporary music.  

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From the treble viol to the “violedegamboes of extraordinarie greatnesse”, Josh Cheatham performs the challenging seventeenth and eighteenth century repertoire shared by both melody and bass instruments. Whether in the viol consort literature, the virtuoso works for solo viola da gamba of Marais, Forqueray and Bach, or orchestral double bass playing, he has become a welcome member of the chamber music and orchestral scene in Europe.

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From the suave and seductive melodies of the Renaissance madrigal to the virtuoso solo and concerto repertoire of the Baroque, recorder player Julien Martin has earned a reputation for his charismatic and persuasive performances on the very first "period instrument" of the revival of the repertoire ranging from the Middle Ages to the high Baroque.

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Harpsichordist, founder and director of Masques, Olivier Fortin graduated with distinction from the Québec Conservatory in 1995. He continued his training with Dom André Laberge, obtained a Master Degree from University of Montreal under the direction of Réjean Poirier. and received several scholarships for studies in Paris with Pierre Hantai and in Amsterdam with Bob van Asperen. In 1997 he was awarded top prizes at the Montreal Bach Competition and the Bruges Festival, and received the Capriccio Stravagante Prize in 1998.

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