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Arthur Grumiaux

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Biography

Arthur Grumiaux (March 21, 1921–October 16, 1986) was a Belgian violinist who was also proficient in piano.

Grumiaux was born in Villers-Perwin, Belgium to a working-class family, and it was his grandfather who 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, where he took first prize at the age of 11. The following year he advanced his studies by working with Alfred Dubois at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, and also worked on counterpoint and fugue with Jean Absil. He received his first few major awards prior to reaching the age of 20; he took the Henry Vieuxtemps and François Prume prizes in 1939, and received 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 Georges Enescu, Yehudi Menuhin’s teacher.

His debuts were made in Belgium with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mendelssohn’s concerto, and in Britain with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1945. Due to the German invasion of his homeland, there existed a short time gap between these two important events. During that time he played privately with several small ensembles, while refraining from public performance of any kind.

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