Adulated by critics, the object of prestigious accolades, young trumpeter Lucienne Renaudin Vary is joined by organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez as she takes the stage at the Maison symphonique on November 2. The two masterful performers will present a program intrepidly blending classical and jazz.
A Whirlwind Journey
Lucienne Renaudin Vary grew up in a family where music was ever-present and jazz, classical and folk were daily listening. Bizet’s opera Carmen enraptured her when she was a very young child; she would listen to it constantly and memorized the work from beginning to end. Then, at the age of eight, she discovered the trumpet and was immediately smitten! Its sound, the way it is held, and its multi-style flexibility thrilled her. Enthralled by this new discovery, she played non-stop; her parents would hide the instrument’s mouthpiece so she wouldn’t damage her lips.
In 2013, Lucienne performed at the 20th Victoires de la musique along with nine other trumpeters in a tribute to Maurice André. She was only 13. Two years later, she was voted “Révélation Soliste instrumental” (Breakthrough Instrumental Soloist) at the Victoires de la musique classique, and in 2018, she opened for Wynton Marsalis and Ibrahim Maalouf at the Jazz in Marciac Festival, crowning the young performer’s excellence in all repertoires. She was the first woman ever to be awarded the Swiss Arthur Waser Foundation Prize, and since 2020, has served as artist-in-residence with the Gstaad Menuhin Festival in Switzerland. Whether she is playing with major orchestras or with celebrated jazz musicians, Lucienne’s schedule is overflowing with concerts, international tours, and media appearances.
Throughout her meteoric rise to fame, this trumpeter has remained level-headed, thankful that everything has managed to fall into place for her. “Follow your instincts. Just enjoy what you do and be yourself,” she advises. Nevertheless, without tireless work, fierce determination, and careful musical reflection, success would not have been as dazzling.
What Kinds of Music? All of them!
Lucienne Renaudin Vary has recorded four albums whose content reflects her eclectic musical tastes and artistic versatility. Drawn to many genres, she avoids affixing labels to what she enjoys; for her, it is all music.
“I have always loved playing both classical and jazz, and I find it strikes a good balance. In jazz, there’s a certain freedom that you don’t necessarily have with classical.” — Lucienne Renaudin Vary
As an artist of many talents, Lucienne has not limited herself to playing repertoire: she also improvises, sings, and hones the art of whistling. Her passion for vocals, their lyricism and expression, is inspired by various performers, including countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, tenor Jonas Kaufmann, Egyptian singer Farah Said, and the late singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, whom she has listened to for several years. Thus, a broad array of styles and repertoires fuel her creativity. And as she points out, “The trumpet is my voice.”
On Being a Woman and a Trumpeter
“When I was little, there weren’t many [women] trumpeters and it was pretty hard for a young girl to identify with what we were always used to seeing: a burly man, usually somewhat heavy-set, playing the trumpet.”— Lucienne Renaudin Vary
Her ethereal and bright sound, impressive musicianship, boundless energy, and subtle yet spectacular playing earned her the nickname of “la Fée trompette” (enchantress of the trumpet) in Le Monde. Lucienne has succeeded in toppling many biases about an instrumental culture often regarded as male-dominated.
It is high time, Lucienne declares, that we overcome our preconceived ideas surrounding the instrument. One need not have an unusually large ribcage to blow into a trumpet and produce powerful sounds, she assures us. Instead, working on one’s technique is what leads to success, whether you’re a man or a woman.
The situation is gradually changing, as more and more women trumpeters populate academic programs, competitions, orchestras, and solo roles. Lucienne Renaudin Vary belongs to this order of performers who inspire change for younger generations.
La trompette, comment ça marche ? (The trumpet: how does it work?) by Lucienne Renaudin Vary
Allow yourself to be captivated by this charismatic and brilliant young trumpeter on November 2 as she performs on the program Trumpet and Organ at the Maison symphonique.