Violist Jean-Philippe Vasseur has Died, Aged 76

With a career spanning 50 years, Vasseur was the founder and principal viola of the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées for over two decades 

(Photo credit: Dominique Torchut)


Born in 1976 to musical parents, Jean-Philippe Vasseur studied with Léon Pascal at the Conservatoire de Paris.

He was also a member of the Radio France Chamber Orchestra, and the Opéra National de Paris orchestra, before developing an interest in historically informed performance.

In 1991, he co-founded and became solo viola of France’s Orchestre des Champs-Élysées — which is known for performing baroque music on period instruments, as well as playing in a more mainstream orchestral style.



He also formed the Turner Quartet with three of the orchestra’s musicians. Among their discography is an acclaimed recording of Beethoven’s op.18 quartets on the Harmonia Mundi record label. 

Additionally, Vasseur played in ensembles such as the La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy, and was viola professor at the National High Conservatory of Music and Dance of Lyon for 30 years. He was also part of creating the Abbey Young Orchestra of the Abbaye aux Dames, la cité musicale. 

Our condolences to Mr. Vasseur’s family, friends, students, and colleagues.