Augustin Dumay is one of the most striking representatives of the great European classical tradition. International critics compare him to the great violinists of the 20th century and his distinctive position as “a great classical stylist” is corroborated by outstanding recordings for Deutsche Grammophon: Beethoven’s complete sonatas with Maria João Pires that “surely ranks with Grumiaux-Haskil, Menuhin-Kempff, or Perlman-Ashkenazy” (Piano International), Brahms’ trios in which “the Milstein legacy in Dumay’s playing is wonderfully apparent” (Gramophone magazine) and also Mozart’s concertos with the Camerata Salzburg “without exaggeration one of the finest Mozart violin concerto discs ever made” (Classic CD) in which he “confirms that he is an exceptional interpreter of Mozart as were Stern or Grumiaux before him”(Classica).
Augustin Dumay was first discovered by the public thanks to his meeting with Herbert von Karajan, his concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker and his recordings for EMI (Concertos by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Lalo). Subsequently he performed regularly with the best orchestras in the world under the direction of the greatest conductors of our times.
Over the last ten years, in parallel to his international career as a violinist, he is increasingly sought after as a conductor. In addition to his position as musical director of the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia (Belgium), which he has held since 2003, he was appointed musical director of the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra (Osaka, Japan) in 2011. He is regularly invited to conduct orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra or Sinfonia Varsovia.
Since 2004, he has been a master-in-residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel (Brussels) where he coaches a select group of highly talented, young violinists, most of whom have seen success in the main international competitions.
The film-maker Gérard Corbiau (Le Maître de Musique, Farinelli) made a documentary film about him—Augustin Dumay, laisser une trace dans le coeur.
His discography—some forty recordings of which most have received prestigious awards (Gramophone Awards, Audiophile Audition, Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Grand Prix du Disque, The Record Academy Award)—is available under the EMI, Deutsche Grammophon and Onyx Classic labels.
Conducting the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra (KPO) he has recorded a Saint-Saëns CD for Onyx and, together with the pianist Louis Lortie, the album Franck & Strauss Violin Sonatas by “one of today’s great violinists” (The Strad). His last CD as a soloist and conductor of the KPO (Brahms’ Serenade No.1 and Beethoven’s Romances) was launched in the autumn of 2013.
His next recordings will be devoted to the Bartók, Brahms, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns and Mendelssohn concertos with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Role: Classical Artist