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Quatuor Debussy
© Bernard Benant

Quatuor Debussy On Tour in Japan

The famous Lyon string quartet, known across France and around the world, will be performing in Japan from 25th September to 9th October 2019. A tour where Mozart and Ravel will be side by side with Philippe Glass and Tan Dun.

Updated on 30/09/2019

2 min

With more than thirty albums recorded and nearly 400 works in their repertoire, the Quatuor Debussy has championed “open, lively and creative music” since 1990, according to his members. For the sixth time, two years after their last trip to the land of the Rising Sun, the quartet is setting off on a 12-date tour of Japan. From Kyoto to Nagoya by way of Osaka and Tokyo, this tour will stop off in Yokohama on the 60th anniversary of the city's twinning with Lyon, Quatuor Debussy's home town.


A classic and contemporary programme



Having won the Grand Prize at the Evian International Quartet Competition in Cordes in 1993, starting the following year Quatuor Debussy set up shop on the slopes of the Croix-Rousse district in Lyon. The quartet won a Victoire de la musique award in 1996 in the Best Chamber Music Ensemble category. Christophe Collette (first violin), Marc Vieillefon (second violin), Vincent Deprecq (viola) and Cédric Conchon (cello) are gradually gaining national and international recognition, making their always-supportive home town of Lyon proud.

From its earliest days, the quartet has acquired a large repertoire (Shostakovitch, Debussy, Mozart, etc.) and in addition to its classical concerts plays for dance performances (Maguy Marin, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, etc.), theatre productions (Richard Brunel, Philippe Delaigue, Jean Lacornerie, etc.) and the circus (Circa company). It is also known in the pop world for its performances with Keren Ann, Cocoon and Yael Naim.


True to this spirit of openness, Quatuor Debussy will work with a few Japanese artists during its tour of Japan, including a clarinettist, a pianist and a pipa player (a traditional Chinese instrument). The programme will start with Haydn and Mozart, while leaving plenty of room for the quartet's preferred repertoire of French music (Franck, Ravel, Fauré, Lalo, Debussy, etc.). There will also be Shostakovich, whose quartets the band has played in their entirety, as well as contemporary music by Philippe Glass and Tan Dun, the Oscar-winning Chinese composer who is best known for the soundtrack to the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000).



Masterclass and signings


While the Debussy quartet regularly performs internationally (China, Australia, United States, Canada, Russia, etc.), and this tour to Japan is not a first for them, it will nevertheless stand out thanks to a certain important date. On 30th September 2019, the city of Yokohama will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its twinning with Lyon, the group's home town.


Also in Yokohama, alongside the ceremonies and in cooperation with the Institut français, a rare public masterclass will be held for students at the Saint-Maur International School, which is home to the École française.

Finally Savarez and Corelli, string makers from Lyon and partners of the tour, will offer a showcase of their expertise and products. The Harmonia Mundi label, which produced the quartet's latest album, will offer a few signing sessions where the public can meet and chat with the musicians.

The Institut français and the project

Quatuor Debussy's tour in Japan is supported by the Institut français in partnership with the City of Lyon.

The Institut français partners with 21 local authorities to develop international artistic exchanges. Find out more about project assistance programmes in partnership with local authorities 


L'institut français, LAB