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, Tom Jenkinson/Squarepusher, artist Martin Creed, Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, Shara Nova, David Lang and Bryce Dessner (amongst many others) have written works for him.
James McVinnie is a member of Icelandic record label Bedroom Community. ‘Cycles’, his debut recording of music written for him by Nico Muhly was released on this label in 2013 to widespread critical acclaim. An album of music by Philip Glass ‘The Grid’ was released on Orange Mountain Music in summer 2018.
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 Phil’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. Future projects include first performances of Philip Glass’s Organ Symphony with LA Phil and the London Contemporary Orchestra.
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 Salzburg Festival at age 26 performing with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under Ivor Bolton.