Violinist Samuel Grimson: a life of triumph and tragedy


British violin virtuoso Samuel Grimson had his playing career cut short by a wartime accident in 1918, but he went on to co-author a groundbreaking book that paved the way for modern violin teaching. Clifford Hall explores his life

Deep in the summer of 1918 in the Italian Alps, the budding concert violinist and pride of Joseph Joachim’s teaching studio Samuel Bonarios Grimson (1879–1955) had just taken off his Royal Army Service Corps-issued Brodie helmet to wipe the sweat from his brow. Now part of the Allied advance known as the Hundred Days Offensive, he had been compelled to enlist just a few months earlier after his brother Harold, a violinist with the London Symphony Orchestra (as was Samuel), had lost his life in the Great War…

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