Arthur Grumiaux

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

Arthur Grumiaux (21 March 1921–16 October 1986) was a Belgian violinist who was also good at the piano.

Biography[change | change source]

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 struggle with diabetes, Grumiaux continued a schedule of recording and concert performances, mostly in Western Europe. A sudden stroke in Brussels took his life in 1986 at the age of 65.