Perhaps the leading post-Harnoncourt cellist in the early music movement, Christophe Coin has developed a particular interest in music of late eighteenth century Vienna. He began studying the cello as a child in Caen, then enrolled in the Paris Conservatory, where his principal teacher was André Navarra. After taking first prize in a conservatory competition, Coin moved to Vienna where, at the Academy for Music, he became a disciple of Nikolaus Harnoncourt and performed in the latter’s Concentus Musicus.Coin also studied with gamba guru Jordi Savall at the Schola Cantorum in Basle. Through Savall, he was able to perform with the ensemble Hesperion XX.
Coin joined England’s Academy of Ancient Music, with which he made several recordings as an orchestra member and as a soloist. In 1984 he founded his own chamber orchestra, Ensemble Mosaïques, but dissolved it the following year. He did salvage the name, at least, when he recruited leaders of its string section to join him in forming the Quatuor Mosaïques, a group mainly dedicated to the music of Mozartand Haydn, but also moving forward into scores by Beethoven and Schubert. In 1991 he was also named music director of the Limoges Baroque Ensemble.
His academic appointments include a post at the Schola Cantorum in Basle, and heading studies in Baroque cello and viola da gamba at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris. Although his performing career has been centered in Europe, Coin has become known to North American audiences through his recordings. Among his more CD projects are highly regarded recordings of Classical-era quartets, and a series of discs devoted to Bach cantatas featuring the violoncello piccolo.