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 thanks to his meeting with Herbert von Karajan, his concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker and his recordings for Warner (Concertos by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Lalo). Since then, he has gone on to perform with Europe’s best orchestras – Philharmonia, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Mahler Chamber, Camerata Salzburg, Tonhalle Zürich, Alte Oper Frankfurt – and with the Orpheus Chamber, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Montreal Symphony, under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Andrew Davis, David Zinman, Yuri Temirkanov, Kurt Masur, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Kurt Sanderling, Iván Fischer, as well as with the leading conductors of a new generation such as Daniel Harding, Alan Gilbert, Robin Ticciati and Maxim Emelyanychev.
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, Sinfonia Varsovia and New Japan Philharmonic. Since 2011 he has been Musical director of the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra (Osaka, Japan) which will make its second European tour under his direction in October 2023.
Since 2004 he has been a Master in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel (Brussels) where he teaches highly talented young violinists, most of them laureates of prestigious 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 cœur.
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 Warner, Deutsche Grammophon and Onyx Classics labels.
For Onyx, after two recordings conducting the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra and two CDs with the pianist Louis Lortie – Franck & Strauss violin sonatas by “one of today’s great violinists” (The Strad) and of Brahms Sonatas, “a disc to treasure” (The Guardian) – Augustin Dumay has returned to the concerto repertory: Beethoven’s Concerto with the Sinfonia Varsovia and Bartók’s Concerto no.2 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano. His new recording is devoted to Mendelssohn: Sonata, Songs without words with Jonathan Fournel and Concerto with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Augustin Dumay plays a 1743 Guarnerius del Gesù, which was the violin of Leonid Kogan.