Augustin Dumay

May 8, 2005 at 05:25 AM · I've recently been introduced to the playing of Augustin Dumay and I wonder why he has gone almost totally unnoticed on this site...Has anyone heard him live, seen him teach, or even listened to his recordings? I find his recording of the Grieg sonatas to be quite good.

Replies (19)

May 10, 2005 at 02:20 AM · I have met Mr. Dumay several times. He is a violinist of the Belgian School, a Grumiaux pupil, and a very very good one with a great tone and super style. When I was still a student I met him after he played Mozart's 3rd : He gave me much encouragement and inspiration. I have only one recording of him, but have heard him many times live. I hope he is still well and wish him all the best !

May 10, 2005 at 05:38 AM · Yep, he is a pupil of Grumiaux ( he could be the most famous pupil of him but not the best, the best is Stephine Chase ) and a chamber music partner of the pianist Pires. However, I think his prime time has past. His playing is declining as he didn't manifest much of the music content instead of giving you a big sound and a Belgian tone. That's all simply.

His mozart concertos recording could hardly be compared with Grumiaux's. It's not convincing in my ears.

What I appreciate him is the ability to master the violin with such long arm and big fingers.

May 11, 2005 at 12:20 PM · Hi,

Great violinist, but virtually unknown in North America. I have two great recordings of him. One with the 2 Lalo concertos, and one of the Grieg sonatas. Both elegant performances. He does still play some in Europe. He used to be with DG, but I don't know anymore.

Hope this helps.


May 11, 2005 at 01:21 PM · Greetings,

Dumay teaches at the Chapelle of Queen Elisabeth in Belgium. According to one of his students, he likes to give extra lessons... at night!

I've also heard his recording of the Grieg sonatas and I find it rather convincing, only he has a 'dry' sound. I don't really know the exact word to describe it, but anyway, I don't like the colour of his sound.


Forgot to say: he's in the jury of the final of the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

May 11, 2005 at 08:32 PM · I have his tchaikovsky recording and it's pretty good.

May 12, 2005 at 01:46 PM · Albert,

I think I know what you mean about the Mozart--there are others I like better, though I think AD plays them very well.

Has the easy access of CD's turned us into a bunch of spoiled snobs?

May 12, 2005 at 05:37 PM · Augustin Dumay was a violin talent. I heard him live twice, once years ago in Ramatuelle, France, playing beautifully Franck and Brahms Sonatas, with his "Kreisler's" Strad.

Recently in Ferrara he played a very bad Mendelssohn concerto, accompanied by Daniel Harding and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

Yes, possibly his talent is not on his prime, everyone has its peaks and lows!

I liked very much his Mozart G and D Concertos recordings.

September 26, 2005 at 11:57 AM · Augustin Dumay is a fantastic musician. I played three concerts with him in France and Belgium. He is a very nice person, always helping and very generous. His sound is very particular and always expressive, so I understand that some people don't like it because he doesn't want it to be "just beautiful". More than a violinist, Mr Dumay is exquisite musician.

He is still very active, especially in Europe and Asia and is now touring in the US (Carnegie Hall and Boston Symphony Hall).

Here is his official website :

With best wishes to you all,


September 26, 2005 at 04:10 PM · His Mozart K.304 with Pires is very good.

September 26, 2005 at 04:18 PM · I've a recording of him playing the Chausson Concerto for violin, piano and string IVtet - very fine, expressive playing.

September 26, 2005 at 04:19 PM · Last time I played with him was at Mostly Mozart in NYC in 1993.

He is a wonderful, elegant player. Superb musician. We really loved his playing. I wish we would see him more often here in the US.

October 28, 2008 at 01:39 AM · I just discovered his Beethoven and Brahms sonatas. What sensitive exquisite playing. The variety of color contrasts he can pull from his violin is amazing. He can instantaneously change voices when required. I can't imagine anyone playing these kind of pieces with more expression.

October 30, 2008 at 04:19 PM · Michael - I love the description of his playing you just wrote here. Made me rush off to go check my public library system, and there he is, performing in a piano quintet (Schumann - can't remember the opus), and voila, I've placed a hold. (Gotta love the library rental system when the household budget gets tight.)

October 31, 2008 at 01:49 AM · Terez-I never heard him in the Schumann. Let me know what you thought.

October 31, 2008 at 02:21 AM · I heard Dumay and his wife Pires play Beethoven sonatas in London's Barbican hall a few seasons back. He and she were such unfussy, down to earth players- it was a pleasure to hear intelligent music making from the heart without histrionics. He has an album with his wife playing the Debussy and Franck sonatas, and Ravel's Tzigane all of which are played with flair, intelligence, and technique to burn.

July 29, 2009 at 01:19 PM ·

I first heard Augustin Dumay on Classic FM playing the Mozart A Major.  I was captivated by the playing and sought to find out more about him.   Since then I have bought several of his recordings and now regard him as one of my top favourite violinists.  I agree with the title of this discussion thread - he is an underappreciated talent.  He has a beguiling and distinctive quality and technique which allows for an immense range of expressiveness.  One feels he has so much equipment in the bag that he can pull something out to bring added life and spontaneity to the music.  An underappreciated talent indeed.

July 29, 2009 at 07:51 PM ·

 I totally forgot what piece it was (something accompanied by piano), but I have a recording of his.  Haven't listened in awhile, but remember that I did like what I heard.  There was a smoothness about the playing, a quiet elegance.  Considering that he's a recorded artist.... I wouldn't necessarily say he's unknown in the US, just less known.

August 7, 2009 at 05:09 AM ·

Hi, Augustin is a friend of my father. I know him very well. He's nice and take attention of many things in the violin.
But i don't like his way of playing violin, he exagerate too much many romantics pieces.

And, he is very pretentious...

August 7, 2009 at 05:54 AM ·



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