International critics have compared Augustin Dumay to the great violinists of the 20th century, describing him as a ‘great classical stylist’, a reputation underscored by his outstanding recordings for Deutsche Grammophon: Beethoven’s complete sonatas with Maria João Pires, a set that ‘surely ranks with Grumiaux-Haskil, Menuhin-Kempff, or Perlman-Ashkenazy’ (International Piano), Brahms’ trios in which ‘the Milstein legacy in Dumay’s playing is wonderfully apparent’ (Gramophone), and 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 after meeting Herbert von Karajan, giving concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker and making recordings for EMI (concertos by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Lalo). He went on to perform regularly with the world’s finest orchestras—the Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestre National de France, Japan Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Suisse Romande, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Bayerischer Rundfunk and many others—under the direction of the greatest conductors of our time, such as Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Seiji Ozawa, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Daniel Harding, Armin Jordan, Kurt Masur, Eliahu Inbal, Emmanuel Krivine, Rafael Kubelík, Igor Markevitch, Charles Dutoit, Iván Fischer, Frans Brüggen, Kent Nagano, Kurt Sanderling, Evgeny Svetlanov, Alan Gilbert, Dennis Russell Davies, Andrew Davis, Stéphane Denève, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Jukka- Pekka Saraste, Yuri Temirkanov, David Zinman, Alain Altinoglu and Robin Ticciati.
Over the last ten years, in parallel to his international career as a violinist, Augustin Dumay has also become very active as a conductor, both on stage and on disc. He is regularly invited to conduct orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia Varsovia. Since 2003, he has been music director of the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia (Belgium), and in 2011, he was appointed music director of the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra (Osaka, Japan). In 2015, under his baton, the KPO toured Europe for the first time, and visited Germany (Tonhalle Düsseldorf and Mozartfest Würzburg), Switzerland (Fondation Gianadda) and Italy (Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo).
Since 2004, Augustin Dumay has been a Master in residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel (Brussels) where he coaches a select group of highly talented young violinists, a majority of whom have won prizes at major 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 40 recordings, the majority of which have received prestigious awards (Gramophone Awards, Audiophile Audition, Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Grand Prix du Disque, The Record Academy Award)—is available on the Warner, Deutsche Grammophon and Onyx Classics labels.
For Onyx he has recorded two CDs conducting the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra and, together with the pianist Louis Lortie, the albums Franck & Strauss violin sonatas by ‘one of today’s great violinists’ (The Strad) and Brahms sonatas, ‘a disc to treasure’ (The Guardian).
Augustin Dumay’s last CD, released in May 2015, presents three aspects of his life as a musician—soloist, conductor and chamber musician—and features Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Symphony no. 8 as well as Brahms’ String Sextet No. 1. His next recording will be devoted to the Bartók’s Concerto No. 2 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
Role: Classical Artist