This could be described as an unconventional encounter. An encounter between two Italians by origin, two Latinos at heart and two instruments that symbolise many popular cultures throughout the world: the mandolin and the accordion.

In Russia the accordion is king and is often accompanied by the balalaika, a‘cousin’in terms of instruments, if ever there were one, of the Neopolitan mandolin. In South America, the Cajun diatonic accordion and its brother, in terms of sound, the bandoneon, are traditionally heard with plucked strings. It is therefore not as strange as all that to combine the accordion with the mandolin and listeners need little persuasion of their success.

Antonio Vivaldi meets Anton Chalaïev, Raffaele Calace and Gus Viseur shake up Béla Bartók, Gioachino Rossini shares the stage with Nino Rota, and so on…  Julien Martineau and Félicien Brut’s virtuoso fingers therefore embody centuries, periods and continents. The concert turns into a dance, a dance that will go on beyond the concert, a dance that everyone will remember like an unforgettable encounter…


Julien Martineau looks at his mandolin both clearly yet passionately: while the general public may be familiar with the instrument thanks to just a few well-known pieces, there is in fact a vast and rich repertoire for whoever wishes to explore it. Julien Martineau certainly has that spirit of adventure, a hunger for research and sharp-eared musicality urging him to embrace the unique qualities of his instrument against a broad backdrop. Invited to take part in the Victoires de la musique classique in 2017, he made his solo debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in December 2018, led by Rinaldo Alessandrini, with which he recorded his latest album of concertos (Naïve).

His concert appearances with – among others – the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Pygmalion, the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, the Wūrttemberg Chamber Orchestra de Heilbronn and the Toulouse Chamber Orchestra, enable him to showcase his instrument’s virtuosity as well as sensitivity. He is the driving force behind original proposals that have been developed with his chosen partners: the pianist Bertrand Chamayou, singers Natalie Dessay, Sabine Devieilhe, Thomas Hampson, Florian Sempey and Laurent Naouri. In 2016, he performed the Concerto for Mandolin, dedicated to him by its composer Karol Beffa, with the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse. He has also recorded all of the Preludes by Raffaele Calace – the solo mandolin equivalent of the Caprices of Paganini, presenting them on Radio France 2 in a broadcast hosted by the pianist and composer Jean-François Zygel with whom he regularly collaborates.

At the age of nineteen Julien Martineau won the Giuseppe Anedda Prize at the Varazze International Competition (1998, Italy). He gained a Diploma in Musicology (2002, Paris-Sorbonne). He cares greatly about the future of his instrument, and has taught the mandolin at the Toulouse Conservatoire since 2005. L’académie des Arts, Lettres et Sciences de Languedoc awarded him the Déodat de Séverac Prize in 2013.

Julien Martineau plays a model of the instrument designed for him by one of the greatest contemporary stringed instrument makers, the Canadian Brian N. Dean.

Julien Martineau