Path:  Aktualności - Towarzystwo Wieniawskiego (en) / A Tribute to Ginette Neveu, an eminent violinist, at the Paris cemetery Père Lachaise.

A Tribute to Ginette Neveu, an eminent violinist, at the Paris cemetery Père Lachaise.


Phot. Iza Bauer-Confrere


On August 11, 2019, at the Père Lachaise Cemetery, a poignant ceremony took place to commemorate a centenary anniversary of birth of an outstanding French violinist GINETTE NEVEU, who died in a calamitous plane crash on October 28, 1949. To pay tribute to Ginette Neveu – an unforgettable artist, the winner of the 1st International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in 1935, with initiative taken by the Henryk Wieniawski Music Society in Poznań and Iza Bauer-Confrere, a musicologist representing the institution, musicians from ‘TRIO PHAM’- a violinist VINH PHAM (on behalf of his master IVRY GITLIS), a viola player and a violinist ZUNG PHAM, a cellist MINH QUYEN PHAM and numerous music lovers met at her grave.

Among many others present, PIERRE NEVEU – the famous violinist‘s nephew - read a touchy memorandum recalling his aunt as ‘beloved and memorable’ and quoting fragments of psalms he had carefully chosen for the ceremony. He, inter alia, said: ‘I am keeping in my mind your smile, your proper strenuousness at work, your seeking of perfection, absolute and your straightforwardness (…) and that concert in Salle Pleyel, eight days before the plane crash, the title of which, chosen by yourself, ‘Concert d’adieu’ was like premonition and warning... It was like today – I was nine and a half - when I, at the end of the concert, ran onto the stage and threw into your arms, so enormously happy that your interpretation of the masterpieces spoke to our souls. Thank you for all the recordings, so rare and unique, and which recall your soul living in the violin’.

Two tablets, commemorating the year 2019 as a double anniversary referring to the great violinist, were set at her grave: a centenary of her birth and 70th anniversary of her tragic death; There was also a wreath with a commemorative sash sent especially for the ceremony from Poznań. On one of the tablets founded by the Henryk Wieniawski Music Society in Poznań a photo of Ginette Neveu from the 1st Violin Competition was placed, on the other a reproduction of her portrait (Ginette Neveu in Sibelius concert) by Sandra Brunetti, an Italian painter who had an exceptional sentiment for the violinist’s art and who devoted an exhibition to her in Florence in 2001.

We could hear the music by Beethoven (with «alla polacca» Allegretto), Bach, Massenet, Ravel, Wieniawski, Cesar Espejo and Maria Theresa von Paradis, played with all heart and devotion for the great artist by TRIO PHAM.

Dr Mariusz Pryliński, the director of the Prosthetics and Dental Technology Clinic of Poznań University of Medical Science representing the city of Poznań but staying currently in Paris, honored the ceremony by his presence.

Passers-by in great numbers stopped at the grave and in reverie listening to the music they also paid tribute to the legend of the violin.

The day before, on August 10th, in Madeleine Church in Paris, a concert from the series ‘Musique et patrimoine’ (soloists: Vinh Pham – the violin and Cecile Besnard – soprano and the Les Violons de France orchestra), that was dedicated to the great artist and her memory, induced applause of numerously gathered audience.

Iza Bauer-Confrere
Translated by Katarzyna Kułagowska Silva



TRIO PHAM and Pierre Neveu. Phot. Iza Bauer-Confrere
Pamiątkowa tabliczka ufundowana przez Towarzystwo Muzyczne im. H. Wieniawskiego w Poznaniu. / fot. Iza Bauer-Confrere Zung Phan mocuje pamiątkowe zdjęcie. / fot. Iza Bauer-Confrere Zung PHAM, Vinh PHAM, Pierre NEVEU et Minh Quyên PHAM / fot. Iza Bauer-Confrere TRIO PHAM  i Pierre Neveu. / fot. Iza Bauer-Confrere Pamiątkowa tabliczka ufundowana przez przyjaciółki malarki Sandry Brunetti. / fot. Iza Bauer-Confrere Pierre Neveu. / fot. Iza Bauer-Confrere Grób Ginette Neveu na Cmentarzu Père Lachaise. / fot. Iza Bauer-Confrere Wieniec z pamiątkową szarfą. / fot. Iza Bauer-Confrere Dwie okolicznościowe tabliczki i wieniec na grobie Ginette Neveu. / fot. Iza Bauer-Confrere Pierre Neveu, doc. dr hab. Mariusz Prylinski, Iza Bauer-Confrere i Minh Quyên Pham. / fot. Vinh Pham Pierre Neveu, doc. dr hab. Mariusz Prylinski, Iza Bauer-Confrere i Minh Quyên Pham (2). / fot. Vinh Pham

Pierre Neveu, the oldest Ginette Neveu’s brother, André Neveu’s son - the speech during the ceremony of worshiping the memory of Ginette Neveu on the hundredth anniversary of her birth


Dear Ginette,
We are celebrating the hundredth anniversary of your birth.
It is like today for me – you don’t stop to be born and reborn.
It was your destiny to fly up to heaven being merely thirty.
I am keeping in mind your smile, your proper strenuousness at work, your seeking of perfection, absolute
and your straightforwardness.

You and your brother Jean (my uncle and godfather) left us having been killed in this calamitous plane crash and gave your mother and your next of kin insurmountable grief. And that concert in Salle Pleyel, eight days before the plane crash, the title of which, chosen by yourself, ‘Concert d’adieu’ was like premonition and warning… It was like today – I was nine and a half - when I, at the end of the concert, ran onto the stage and threw into your arms, so enormously happy that your interpretation of the masterpieces spoke to our souls. 

Thank you for all the recordings, so rare and unique, and which recall your soul living in the violin.

We will never forget you... you offered us so much, Ginette.

Today, on August 11, 2019, two tablets with photos are placed at your grave to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of your birth and the seventieth anniversary of your tragic death. On one of the tablets founded by the Henryk Wieniawski Music Society in Poznań, the organizer of the oldest violin competition in the world. The contest of which first edition you won in 1935. I thank Society (also for a wreath with a commemorative sash sent especially for the ceremony) being represented by Izabela Bauer-Confrere who, doing her utmost, collects as many documents as possible to publish a book telling your story. The other tablet is a gift from Sandra Brunetti’s friends, an Italian painter died in 2017. In 2001 in Florence she devoted you an exhibition entitled «Omaggio a Ginette Neveu» showing a lot of your portraits. She called you ‘the legend of the violin’ - she was often painting while listening to your recordings. On the tablet - one of the portraits: ‘Ginette Neveu in Sibelius concert’. I thank for the gesture that has come from Italy, the capital of music.

I also thank the musicians of ‘Trio Pham’, who have accompanied us today to play you these beautiful cards of music you loved so much.

And thanks to the passers-by who are present at your grave and who want to honor the memory of you.

I am happy that in tribute to your legacy II International Violin Competition will be held in Avignon this year, on 17-19 October (the first was in 2010), almost 70 years after your trip from earth to heaven. Warm regards to Serge Tamisier, the director of the competition, for the initiative. And I will be there for you…

Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, August 11th, 2019

Translated by Katarzyna Kułagowska Silva