Organist James McVinnie’s boundless approach to music has lead him to collaborations with some of the world’s leading composers, producers and performers. Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, Tom Jenkinson/Squarepusher, artist Martin Creed, Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, Shara Nova, David Lang, Tim Hecker, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Darkstar, Sarah Davachi, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Mira Calix, Phill Niblock, Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie, Craig Armstrong, CHAINES (amongst many others) have written works for him.
Recent highlights have included a solo recital at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles and a subsequent concerto debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa Pekka Salonen in the LA Philharmonic’s Reykjavík Festival. He also led the first performance of ‘Music in 12 Parts’ by Philip Glass by anyone other than the composer’s own Ensemble at London’s Barbican Centre. His collaboration with Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher) was presented at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam by the 2017 Holland Festival and he gave the first performances of ‘Register’, a new concerto written for him by Nico Muhly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under James Conlon in February 2018.
James McVinnie was Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey between 2008 and 2011. Prior to this appointment, he held similar positions at St Paul’s Cathedral, St Albans Cathedral, and 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 2009 Salzburg Festival performing with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under Ivor Bolton.
James McVinnie is a member of Icelandic record label Bedroom Community. ‘Cycles’, his recording of music written for him by Nico Muhly was released on this label in 2013 to widespread critical acclaim and ‘Cycles_1’ featuring remixes by various artists was released in 2016. An album of music by Philip Glass ‘The Grid’ was released on Orange Mountain Music in summer 2018.
Future projects include first performances of Philip Glass’s Symphony 12 (after the music of David Bowie and Brian Eno) with LA Philharmonic and with the London Contemporary Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, and further performances of Nico Muhly’s organ concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra. A collaboration with electronic music duo Darkstar will be presented in the 2018/19 Liquid Music season as well as solo performances of music by Philip Glass and J S Bach on piano.