Nicolas Chatenet

With a network of Artist Centres and Ateliers around the world, Yamaha works with leading players to support their performances and develop instrument designs and new ideas for the benefit of all musicians. Yamaha Artists share with us a passion for inspiring the next generation of players, and a belief that everybody should be encouraged to nurture their talent, connect with others and tell their stories through music.

Get to know Yamaha Artist and trumpet player Nicolas Chatenet

Statement about your relation with Yamaha or your instrument:

I started playing the trumpet and electronic music with Yamaha instruments. I like how effective these instruments are. Practical, effective, with a distinctive sound quality. Yamaha trumpets are accurate, easy to play and have an effective sound aesthetic as part of an orchestra and as a soloist. Before, I only played the B-flat trumpet for jazz and "variety" music. Now I see it as a "classical" instrument too, which I wasn't convinced about before!

How does your instrument helps you in your daily life as an artist ?

My instrument helps me respect my body and my skill of playing. It doesn't require any unnecessary effort, and it is tailored to me. It also allows me to practice some of the pieces I may have. So it reassures me.

How would you characterise your instrument ?

I would say effective.

When and how did you get in touch with Yamaha ?   

I came into contact with Yamaha through its synthesizers and workstations as well as its digital consoles, which enabled me to enter into the current music and electro business effectively. I therefore already had a positive experience of Yamaha's philosophy, its way of understanding sound and making music. After trying the Yamaha trumpets at AJ Atelier des Cuivres and then making some adjustments with Thomas who came from Hamburg, I chose to play these instruments.

Who was your most influential  teacher and is there any advice which you still follow ?    

I had great teachers like Frédéric and André Presle, and Wolfgang Bauer, they passed on many things to me about trumpet technique. But Frédéric Presle once told me that the best teacher is yourself, and that I had to be listening to everyone. Because we learn just as much, if not more, from exchanges with others (and [especially] not just trumpeters!) outside of the "teacher/pupil dynamic". Not a day goes by that I don't think of that piece of advice as one of the best trumpet lessons I ever had.

What would be your advice for a young musician ?

My advice to a young trumpeter would be to think of themselves as an elite athlete, and to train as such (physically and mentally). In 2021, the level you have to reach to become professional trumpeter doesn't leave much room for a lack of precision. You have to be solid on all the technical/practical parts of the instrument, and even be versatile (natural trumpet, jazz, variety, cornet, rotary trumpet, cornett, etc.). Relying on talent alone doesn't work anymore.
Aside from that, I would say to them that they are not a trumpeter, they are a living musician and artist in a bustling world, and that they need to be in contact with this world, throw themselves into it as a citizen, human and artist. From there, they will find their life stories which will create their own artistic profile: personal, unique and rich, set in their time and oriented toward the future. This will give them stories to tell and emotions to pass on through the trumpet (and not only the trumpet... does the trumpeter of the future necessarily need to be just a trumpeter?), with added color in their interpretation. The world is huge and constantly changing, there is room for all artists, it's up to them to play and create!