Arthur Grumiaux

Baron Arthur Grumiaux (French: [gʁy'mjo]; 21 March 1921 – 16 October 1986) was a Belgian violinist, considered by some to have been "one of the few truly great violin virtuosi of the twentieth century".[1] He has been noted for having a "consistently beautiful tone and flawless intonation".[2] English music critic and broadcaster, Edward Greenfield wrote of him that he was "a master virtuoso who consistently refused to make a show of his technical prowess".[2]

Arthur Grumiaux
Arthur Grumiaux.jpg
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

Early lifeEdit

Born to a working-class family in the Belgian town of Villers-Perwin, on 21 March 1921,[3] 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.[4]


Arthur Grumiaux (1965)

He variously has been described as having made his debut in Brussels at the age of 14,[4] or in 1935,[3] although his debut is more commonly said to have occurred in 1940.[5][6][7] This performance was made in Belgium with the Brussels Philharmonic playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.[6]

Due to the German invasion of his homeland, he next played publicly after liberation in 1945 with the Allied military entertainment organisation,[8][9] making his London debut later that year.[5][6] In 1949 he was appointed professor of violin at the Brussels Conservatoire where he had once studied.[5][10] He debuted in the United States in Boston in 1951, and toured the United States in the following year.[8][11]

In 1973 he was created a baron by King Baudouin of Belgium for his services to music.[10]


He died of a sudden stroke in Brussels (Belgium) in 1986 at the age of 65.[3]


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, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, Lalo, Henryk Wieniawski, and Johan Svendsen.[12][13]

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.[14] This recording was chosen by renowned scientist Carl Sagan.

His violinsEdit

He owned a Guarneri, the "Rose", made by Giuseppe Guarneri in 1744,[15] and played (but did not own[16]) a Stradivarius, the "General Dupont", made in 1727.[17] He also owned the "Museum", made by Giuseppe Guarneri in 1739, and the "Campoli", made by Giovanni Guadagnini in 1773.[18]

Violin CompetitionEdit

Logo of the competition

The International Grumiaux Competition for Young Violinists is held annually and takes place at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in Belgium.[19][20] It was first held in 2008 under the name of "Bravo",[21] In 2015, the competition was renamed in honour of Arthur Grumiaux,[22] and is now called Concours International Grumiaux pour Jeunes Violonistes (International Grumiaux Competition for Young Violinists).[23]


The competition was created in 2008 by Igor Tkatchouk, a violin professor at the Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie in Namur,[24] originally under the name of "Bravo!" competition.[25] It took place each year at the Institut[26] and since 2017 in the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels. In 2015, the competition was supported by the foundation Baron Arthur Grumiaux[27] and was renamed International Arthur Grumiaux Competition for Young Violinists.[28] The same year, Princess Léa of Belgium rewarded the winners at the Royal Theater of Namur. The competition is international and was represented in 2016 by 27 different nationalities

Since 2016 edition, Musiq'3 became the official partner of the project[29] and in the same year, the Belgian TV news RTBF show a spot on television [30]

Prize winnersEdit

There are four categories of prizes, based on the age of the performer: category A : through 10 years old, category B ages 11–13, category C ages 14–17, and category D ages 18–21.[31]

Year 1st Prize Cat A 1st Prize Cat B 1st Prize Cat C 1st Prize Cat D Special Prize
2019   Himari Yoshimura (Grand prize)
  Nguyen Le Nguyen
   Kai Gergov
  Bianca Ciubancan
 Naz Irem Turkmen
 Kyota Kakiuchi   Ayaka Uchio  Samuel Hirsch (Best interpretation of a Belgian piece)
2018   EunSeo Cho
  SungWoo Lee
  Viktor Vasiliev
 Leonard Toschev
  Pauline Van Der Rest
 Michael Germer   Emma Gibout  Michael Germer (Special jury prize )

 Ariel Horowitz (Best interpretation of a Belgian piece)

2017   Fiona Khuong-Huu
 Ryota Nakamura

  Yunci Kaelyn Soh

 Georgii Moroz

 Pal Laszlo Szomora

-  Meurice Victorine (Special Prize – Young Hope )

 Georgii Moroz (Best interpretation of a Belgian piece)

2016[32]   Bade Daştan   Aliaksandra Arbuzava

  Veronika Mona Bogic

  Emiri Kobayashi

  Ilgin Top

  Yurina Arai   Emiri Kobayashi (Best Interpretation of a Belgian piece)

  Avraham Tirfe (Encouragement)
 Bilal Alnemr (Dora Schwarzberg Prize)

2015   NAKANO Lina (Grand prize)

  KIM Theodore

  KARLS Lorenz


  CARDAROPOLI Gennaro   RIMBU Remus   Spruit Charlotte (Best Interpretation of a Belgian piece)

  Lut Bilegtugs (Dora Schwarzberg Prize)

2014   VAN DER REST Pauline (Grand prize)

  BLYUMIN Matviy
  LIST Darya


  WAKAMATSU Hana Lucia

  TING Belle Chang-Yuan   DEBROEYER Quentin   Belle Ting (Best Interpretation of a Belgian piece)

  Anne Friederike Greuner (Best Interpretation of a Belgian piece)

2013   Cooreman Alexandra (Grand prize)

  Vasylieva Varvara
  Yushkovskaya Maria

  Walder Julian(Grand prize)

  Pashchenko Snezhana

  Ibrahimova Aytan

  Durand-Rivière Suzanne

  Šroubková Olga

  Michaluk Maxime

2012   von Albertini Emilia (Grand prize)

  Voisin Morgane

  Csikos Anett   Girard Grégoire - -
2011   Lozakovitj Daniel -   Willem Floris

  Decamps Sarah
  Seyidova Jeyla

- -
2010   Guo Linda   Egorovs Andrels

  Martynov Fedor

- - -
2009   Boschkor Laras

  Kuzmina Alexandra

  Levy Maya   Grauman Marina   Managadze-Postnikova Nikolai -
2008    Csikos Anett    Csikos Vilmos    Lee Jae-Eun - -

Jury 2019Edit

  1. Mr. Igor Tkatchouk – Belgium – President of the jury
  2. Mrs Dora Schwarzberg – Austria
  3. Mrs Shirly Laub – Belgium
  4. Mrs Tetiana Zolozova – France
  5. Mr. Roman Fedchuk – Czech Rep
  6. Mr. George Tudorache – Belgium
  7. Mr. Muhammedjan Turdiev – Turkey

Previous yearsEdit

  1. Alexei Moshkov – Belgium(2012)
  2. Anna Sundin – Sweden(2013, 2014, 2015)
  3. Anne Léonardo – Belgium(2009)
  4. Dora Schwarzberg – Austria(2013 to 2019)
  5. Guido Jardon – Belgium(2008 à 2012)
  6. Jean-Frédéric Molard – Belgium(2010, 2011)
  7. Luba Aroutiounian – Belgium(2008)
  8. Michel Poskin – Belgium(2009)
  9. Muhammedjan Turdiev – Turkey(2014 to 2019)
  10. Nina Nazymova – France (2013)
  11. Philippe Descamps – Belgium(2011, 2012, 2013)
  12. Roman Fedchuk – Czech Republic (2009 to 2019)
  13. Saveliy Shalman – Russia(2009)
  14. Shirly Laub – Belgium(2010, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2019)
  15. Tatiana Samouil – Belgium(2008, 2012, 2013)
  16. Tetiana Zolozova – France (2013 à 2019)
  17. Ulysse Waterlot – Belgium(2010)
  18. Valery Oistrakh – Belgium(2011)
  19. Igor Tkatchouk – Belgium(Chairman 2008 to 2019)


  1. ^ "Arthur Grumiaux | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Artist". Gramophone. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  3. ^ a b c State, Paul F. (2015). Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 190. ISBN 9780810879218.
  4. ^ a b Campbell, Margaret (2011). "34 The Musician's Musician". The Great Violinists. Faber and Faber. p. 167. ISBN 9780571277452.
  5. ^ a b c "Arthur Grumiaux, Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  6. ^ a b c Burgess, Patricia; Turner, Roland (1989). The Annual Obituary. St. James Press. p. 580. ISBN 9781558620131.
  7. ^ Roth, Henry (1997). Violin Virtuosos: From Paganini to the 21st Century. California Classic Books. p. 203.
  8. ^ a b Campbell, Margaret (2011). "34 The Musician's Musician". The Great Violinists. Faber and Faber. p. 168. ISBN 9780571277452.
  9. ^ Lloyd, Stephen (2014). Constant Lambert: Beyond the Rio Grande. Boydell Press. p. 332. ISBN 9781843838982.
  10. ^ a b "Legendary Violinists: Arthur Grumiaux".
  11. ^ "Arthur Grumiaux: The Boston Recordings". Parnassus Classical CDs and Records.
  12. ^ "ARTHUR GRUMIAUX: PHILIPS RECORDINGS 1955-1978". Classics Today.
  13. ^ "Arthur Grumiaux – Philips Recordings 1955-1977". Archived from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Golden Record: Music From Earth". JPL.
  15. ^ "The Art of Arthur Grumiaux". Audiophile Audition. 26 May 2014.
  16. ^ "Rare Violins of New York "General Dupont"".
  17. ^ "Frank Peter Zimmermann receives 'General Dupont', 'Grumiaux' Stradivarius on long-term loan". The Strad. 20 January 2016. Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Browse the Cozio Archive Arthur Grumiaux".
  19. ^ "Revivez le concert des lauréats du Concours Grumiaux 2016". RTBF (in French). 1 February 2016.
  20. ^ "Un prestigieux concours international pour jeunes violonistes a lieu à Namur". RTBF (in French). 10 February 2016.
  21. ^ "8ème CONCOURS INTERNATIONAL "Arthur Grumiaux"". Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie (in French).
  22. ^ "Concours pour violonistes". (in French). 23 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Contact". Best of Violin (in French).
  24. ^ "Revivez le concert des lauréats du Concours Grumiaux 2016" (in French). 1 January 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  25. ^ "8e Concours International Arthur Grumiaux". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  26. ^ "IMEP » 8ème CONCOURS INTERNATIONAL " Arthur Grumiaux "".
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ L. S. "Concours pour violonistes".
  29. ^ Musiq'3 partenaire du Concours Grumiaux
  30. ^ Un prestigieux concours international pour jeunes violonistes a lieu à Namur
  31. ^ "Rules".
  32. ^ Heifetz (18 February 2016). "Prizes Awarded at 2016 Grumiaux International Junior Violin Comp". Retrieved 21 July 2016.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit