B i o g r a p h y
Valentin François is a multi-faceted trumpet player from France, who is actively performing throughout Europe and is currently based in Luzern, Switzerland. He attended Strasbourg’s conservatoire and after graduating in 2012, he began to study with Vincent Gillig (principal trumpet of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg). He then studied at the Hochschule für Musik Luzern with Prof. Philippe Litzler (principal trumpet of the Tonhalle Zürich Orchester). At this point in his development, he began to focus on becoming a versatile trumpet player, one who is interested in all kinds of music through both his Bachelor and Master study, eventually graduating in 2017. There he also studied baroque trumpet with Prof. Markus Würsch.
During the course of his studies, he had the opportunity to meet Marco Blaauw —one of the most prominent trumpet players in the field of contemporary music. Following Blaauw’s advice, Valentin followed a specialization in contemporary music during his first Master’s study. In this period, he developed a strong affinity for playing contemporary music. In light of this, he studied with Marco Blaauw within the Master’s ‘aus LICHT’ program at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (Netherlands). This program focused on performing the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen and culminated with the Holland Festival in 2019, where large parts from the „Aus LICHT“ were presented. During this program he also further studied with Erwin Ter Bogt (classical trumpet) and Susan Williams (baroque trumpet).
Valentin François performed during the Holland Festival 2019 in different pieces as an ensemble player, but most important, he performed the wonderful piece „Pietà“ for quarter-tone Flügelhorn, soprano and electronic music, from Invasion-Explosion from the opera „Dienstag“. He was the third performer to ever play this piece in the opera context, after Markus Stockhausen and Marco Blaauw.
He has been playing with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, with Basel Sinfonietta, the Duisburger Symphoniker, the Ensemble Linéa for new music in Strasbourg, France, the Collegium Musicum Basel as well as the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève.
In addition to the above, Valentin François plays regularly with different ensembles, often performing chamber music on either baroque or modern instruments. He works with composers in order to explore and expand the repertoire of the trumpet, and is moved by the idea that a performer should play the music of his time. He commissioned a new piece for his Master recital, from the Latvian composer Asia Ahmetjanova, which he premiered, and developed together with the composer. This commission was then expanded into an orchestral version, which he premiered in November 2017 with the Campus Orchester Luzern.
He participated also in the Darmstadt Summer Courses in the summer 2018, where he worked with several composers to create new pieces and expand the trumpet repertoire. In the last few years, Valentin François participated in the Lucerne Festival Academy, the Klangspuren Festival in Schwaz, Austria and also in the Jeune Orchestre de l’Abbaye aux Dames (on historical instruments) or the Schweizer Jugend Sinfonisches Orchester, under the direction of renowned conductors, Philippe Herreweghe or Marc Minkowski among others.
Valentin François perfomed with different ensembles in many famous concert hall, amongst which the KKL Luzern, the Elbphilharmonie in Hambourg, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Philharmonie de Paris, the Gashouder in Amsterdam, the Victoria Hall in Geneva, the Salle de l'Arsenal in Metz, France, etc.
He has attended numerous master-classes, with world renowned trumpet players and teachers, such as Klaus Schuhwerk, Wolfgang Guggenberger, Anthony Plog and Frits Damrow.
Valentin François received a scholarship from the Richard-Wagner-Verband in summer 2019 (RWV Ammersee), and attended the Bayreuther Festspiele the same year.