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Arthur Grumiaux (1921 - 1986)

It was Arthur Grumiaux’s grandfather, who ran a sheet music shop, who started him on the violin before he was four and introduced him to the concert stage a year later, thus precipitating another twentieth-century violinist’s long and illustrious career. The next year Grumiaux was admitted to the Charleroi Conservatoire where he studied violin and piano with Fernand Quinet and took first prizes in both instruments when he left aged eleven. His proficiency in the two instruments, mirroring that of Kreisler, Heifetz and Enescu before him, was later demonstrated in (now reissued) recordings of Brahms’s Violin Sonata No. 2 and Mozart’s Violin Sonata K. 481, where he plays both parts.

Further violin studies followed at the Brussels Conservatoire where a huge commitment was demanded of Grumiaux as he was tutored by Alfred Dubois, a pupil of Eugène Ysaÿe. He became Dubois’s assistant teacher and later succeeded him as professor of violin. He also studied composition privately for a season with George Enescu in Paris, thus gaining an enviable all-round musical education from some prominent figures all of whom were steeped in the values and training of the previous century. Grumiaux placed great importance on phrasing and tone in his own teaching, drawing on the example of artists such as Ysaÿe and Sarasate. Henryk Szeryng is said to have admired his vibrato.




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