photo: Jean Baptiste Millot

Julien Martineau


In 2017 Julien Martineau was the first mandolin player in history to perform at the gala ceremony of Victoires de la Musique Classique. Jean-François Zygel himself – the renowned French pianist and composer called him a “master of the mandolin”. Martineau is one of the few European mandolin players to have developed successful concert careers playing classical music for the instrument. He attended and graduated from conservatories in Argenteuil and Rueil-Malmaison. At the age of 19 he won the Giuseppe Anedda award at the International Mandolin Players’ Competition in Varazze (Italy). Julien Martineau has been working with the Lyon-based Savarez company (established in 1770), developing innovative strings for the instrument. He currently plays a new instrument built by one of the best luthiers in the world, Canadian Brian N. Dean. Julien Martineau has accompanied such singers as Natalie Dessay, Thomas Hampson and Laurent Naouri. He particularly likes to play compositions by Raffaele Calace, called the Paganini of the mandolin. Together with pianist Bertrand Chamayou he has assembled a programme of sonatas for mandolin and piano from the 18th century to contemporary times. In September of 2016, together with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, he played the first performance of Karol Beffa’s Mandolin Concerto, which the composer dedicated to Martineau. The artist performs regularly with major orchestras, including the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn and Ensemble Baroque de Toulouse. He performs as soloist in major concert venues, including the Théâtre du Châtelet, Grand Théâtre de Provence, Halle aux Grains in Toulouse, Victoria Hall in Geneva and at the La Folle Journée Festival. Julien Martineau recorded all of the Preludes by Raffaele Calace – the solo mandolin equivalent of Paganini’s Caprices for solo violin. He also recorded the album Paradis Latin (Naïve, 2016), containing virtuoso performances of some of the most beautiful works for the mandolin.


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