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James McVinnie


About this Artist

Organist JAMES McVINNIE’s boundless approach to music has led him to collaborations with some of the world’s leading composers, producers, and performers. Nico Muhly, Tom Jenkinson/Squarepusher, Martin Creed (winner of the 2001 Turner Prize), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond), David Lang (winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in music), and Bryce Dessner (The National) have written works for him.

James McVinnie was Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey between 2008 and 2011, where he played for regular services and directed the Abbey’s world-famous choir. He also played at many state occasions and special services of national importance which were broadcast live on television, including the 2011 Royal Wedding. Prior to this appointment, he held similar positions at St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Albans Cathedral, and at Clare College, Cambridge, where he studied music. His teachers were Sarah Baldock, Thomas Trotter, and Hans Fagius. He made his debut at London’s Royal Festival Hall in March 2014, giving one of the six reopening recitals on the refurbished iconic 1954 Harrison & Harrison organ. He made his solo debut in the Salzburg Festival at age 26 performing with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under Ivor Bolton.

James McVinnie is a member of Bedroom Community, the Icelandic record label and close-knit collective comprising like-minded, yet diverse musicians from different corners of the globe. Cycles, his debut release of music written for him by Nico Muhly, was released on this label in 2013 to widespread critical acclaim.

2017 season highlights include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the Reykjavík Festival with a performance of Jon Leifs’ spectacular and rarely heard Organ Concerto (April 15), a performance of Music in Twelve Parts by Philip Glass at London’s Barbican Centre, and a collaboration with Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher) in the Holland Festival. He will also be releasing albums of music by J.S. Bach and Philip Glass.