Arthur Grumiaux

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Arthur Grumiaux
Arthur Grumiaux.jpg
Background information
Birth name Arthur Grumiaux
Born (1921-03-21)21 March 1921
Villers-Perwin, Belgium
Died 16 October 1986(1986-10-16) (aged 65)
Brussels, Belgium
Occupation(s) Violinist

Arthur Grumiaux, Baron Grumiaux (French: [gʁy'mjo]; 21 March 1921 – 16 October 1986) was a Belgian violinist.

Early life[edit]

Born in the Belgian town of Villers-Perwin, on 21 March 1921,[1] Grumiaux was only three years old when his grandfather urged him to begin music studies. He entered the conservatoire in Charleroi at the age of six; the normal entry age was eleven. He studied violin and piano there until the age of eleven, when he graduated and moved to the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels to study violin.[2]


He variously has been described as having made his debut in Brussels at the age of 14,[2] or in 1945,[1] although his debut is more commonly said to have occurred in 1940.[3][4][5] This performance was made in Belgium with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mendelssohn's concerto.[4]

Due to the German invasion of his homeland, he next played publicly after liberation in 1945 with the Allied military entertainment organisation,[6][7] making his London debut later that year.[3][4] In 1949 he was appointed professor of violin at the Brussels Conservatoire where he had once studied.[3][8] He debuted in the United States in Boston, in 1951, and toured the United States in the following year.[6][9]

In 1973 he was created a baron by King Baudouin of Belgium for his services to music.[8]


He died of a sudden stroke in Brussels in 1986 at the age of 65.[1]


Grumiaux had a long-standing relationship with Philips Records, lasting more than 20 years, and recordings are available from them of him performing works by Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, Michael Haydn, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Tchaikovsky, Henryk Wieniawski, and Johan Svendsen.[10][11]

A recording of Grumiaux's performance of one movement from Bach's Sonatas & Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin, the "Gavotte en rondeaux" from the Partita No. 3, is included on the Voyager Golden Record, attached to the Voyager spacecraft, as a sample of the culture of Earth.[12]

His violins[edit]

He owned both a Guarneri, the "Rose", made by Giuseppe Guarneri in 1744,[13] and a Stradivarius, the "General Dupont", made in 1727.[14]


Logo of the competition

This international competition is held annually and takes place at the Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie in Namur, Belgium.[15][16] It was first held in 2008 under the name of "Bravo",[17] In 2015, the competition was renamed in honour of Arthur Grumiaux,[18] and is now called Concours International Grumiaux pour Jeunes Violonistes (International Grumiaux Competition for Young Violinists).[19]


  1. ^ a b c State, Paul F. (2015). Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 190. 
  2. ^ a b Campbell, Margaret (2011). "34 The Musician's Musician". The Great Violinists. Faber and Faber. p. 167. 
  3. ^ a b c "Arthur Grumiaux, Baron". Encyclopaedia Britannica. 
  4. ^ a b c Burgess, Patricia; Turner, Roland (1989). The Annual Obituary. St. James Press. p. 580. 
  5. ^ Roth, Henry (1997). Violin Virtuosos: From Paganini to the 21st Century. California Classic Books. p. 203. 
  6. ^ a b Campbell, Margaret (2011). "34 The Musician's Musician". The Great Violinists. Faber and Faber. p. 168. 
  7. ^ Lloyd, Stephen (2014). Constant Lambert: Beyond the Rio Grande. Boydell Press. p. 332. 
  8. ^ a b "Legendary Violinists: Arthur Grumiaux". 
  9. ^ "Arthur Grumiaux: The Boston Recordings". Parnassus Classical CDs and Records. 
  10. ^ "ARTHUR GRUMIAUX: PHILIPS RECORDINGS 1955-1978". Classics Today. 
  11. ^ "Arthur Grumiaux - Philips Recordings 1955-1977". 
  12. ^ "Golden Record: Music From Earth". JPL. 
  13. ^ "The Art of Arthur Grumiaux". Audiophile Audition. 26 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Frank Peter Zimmermann receives 'General Dupont', 'Grumiaux' Stradivarius on long-term loan". The Strad. 20 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Revivez le concert des lauréats du Concours Grumiaux 2016". RTBF (in French). 1 February 2016. 
  16. ^ "Un prestigieux concours international pour jeunes violonistes a lieu à Namur". RTBF (in French). 10 February 2016. 
  17. ^ "8ème CONCOURS INTERNATIONAL "Arthur Grumiaux"". Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie (in French). 
  18. ^ "Concours pour violonistes". (in French). 23 March 2015. 
  19. ^ "Contact". Best of Violin (in French). 

External links[edit]