Laurent Verney, first solo viola of the Orchester de l'Opéra national de Paris, died Tuesday in a bicycle accident at the age of 61.
"It is with immense sadness that Alexander Neef, the musicians of the Orchestra and the staff of the Paris Opera have learned of the sudden death of Laurent Verney, principal viola of the orchestra for nearly 40 years"
, wrote the Paris Opera on his Twitter account.
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Laurent Verney was passionate about Wagner.
As such, he participated every year in the Bayreuth Festival, dedicated to the musician.
In December 2020, he spoke of this passion at the microphone of France Musique:
“For me it's hard drugs.
When I play this music, the next day I'm a little broken, but at the moment it carries me.
It's incredible, it's inexplicable, it's music that takes you to the top. ”
Viola solo at 25
As reported by France Musique, Laurent Verney had studied at the Conservatoire National de Paris from 1980 to 1984. He was then appointed first solo viola of the orchestra of the Opéra national de Paris, when he had only 25 years.
He was still in this position at the time of his death.
During his career, Laurent Verney had notably performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France, the National Capitol Orchestra of Toulouse, the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra ...
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At the same time, Laurent Verney taught at the Conservatoire with regional influence. Asked by France Musique, Xavier Delette, the director of the institution, said he was
. He salutes the memory of a musician who
“carried within him a light that art nourished at every moment; he transmitted this light to his students while giving them all the keys and all the energy necessary to realize their passion in the professional world ”
. Other musicians, like the Capuçon brothers, have also expressed their emotion on Twitter.