• Born 1948
Often appears with
Gérard Caussé is among the few classical violists who maintains an international solo career, and, with Nobuko Imai, is one of the two most significant stars of the instrument since William Primrose. He plays a very old (1560) viola by Gasparo da Salo. Caussé is closely associated with the chamber music of Mozart, who, he says, was the first composer to realize the viola's potential as the "mediator" between the upper and lower voices of the orchestra and the string quartet. He also plays the music of the two Romantic-era composers who most prominently favored the viola, Hector Berlioz and Max Bruch.
However, he is also a particular champion of twentieth-century music, for this is an era when the viola most strongly emerged as a solo instrument. He plays works of Bartók, Britten, Martinu, and Stravinsky, and has had solo works written for him by Grisey, Hersant, Jolas, Lenot, Masson, Nunes, and Reverdy. He was a participant in the world premiere of the string quartet Ainsi la nuit by Henri Dutilleux, commonly ranked with the quartets of Debussy and Ravel as the greatest French works in the form. Caussé has made over 25 compact discs on the major labels EMI, Philips, Erato, and Deutsche Grammophon, and has won the Charles Gros Academy Prize, the Gabriel Fauré Prize, the SACEM Prize, and the French Grand Prix du Disque.