Arthur Grumiaux

Belgian violinist and pianist (1921-1986)

Arthur Grumiaux (21 March 1921–16 October 1986) was a Belgian violinist and pianist.

Arthur Grumiaux
at the Concertgebouw Grand Gala du Disque Classique, 1965
at the Concertgebouw Grand Gala du Disque Classique, 1965
Background information
Birth nameArthur Grumiaux
Born(1921-03-21)21 March 1921
Villers-Perwin, Belgium
Died16 October 1986(1986-10-16) (aged 65)
Brussels, Belgium
Occupation(s)Violinist, pianist

Biography change

Grumiaux was born in Villers-Perwin, Belgium. His grandfather urged him to begin music studies at the age of only 4. He trained on violin and piano with the Fernand Quintet at the Charleroi Conservatory. He took first prize at the age of 11. He received his first few major awards before reaching the age of 20. He took the Henry Vieuxtemps and François Prume prizes in 1939, and the Prix de Virtuosité from the Belgian government in 1940. During this time he also studied composition privately in Paris with the famous Romanian violinist George Enescu.

His debut was made in Belgium with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra. Then in Britain with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1945. Following his British debut, he was made professor of violin at the Royal Conservatory, where he had once studied. His playing often brought comparisons to another great Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe and also to Pablo de Sarasate of Spain.

One of his greatest joys in life was his partnership with the pianist Clara Haskil, the Romanian-born Swiss classical pianist. Sometimes the two would switch instruments for a different perspective and relationship. Grumiaux was left with a professional and personal loss when she died from a fall at a train station, on the way to a concert with him.

In 1973 he was knighted baron by King Baudouin for his services to music.

Despite a having diabetes, Grumiaux continued a schedule of recording and concert performances, mostly in Western Europe. He died of a sudden stroke in Brussels in 1986 at the age of 65.