James McVinnie’s work as a performer encompasses music from the 16th century to the present day. His boundless approach to music making has lead him to collaborations with many leading figures in music including Philip Glass, Tom Jenkinson/Squarepusher, Angelique Kidjo, Nico Muhly, Martin Creed, David Lang, Richard Reed Parry, Bryce Dessner & Darkstar, many of whom have written large scale works for him. He has released music on Bedroom Community, Orange Mountain Music and Warp Records.
2021/22 season will see the launch of the James McVinnie Ensemble, a collective of virtuoso keyboardists from London that specialise in new music. The ensemble’s roots go back to 2017 with a performance at London’s Barbican centre of Philip Glass Music in Twelve Parts — the only performance in the piece’s history given by anyone other than the composer’s own ensemble. Launch concerts at Bold Tendencies, London in September 2021 feature composer portraits of Gabriella Smith, Philip Glass and John Adams, and at London’s Barbican centre in November 2021 featuring Philip Glass’s Glassworks & Chris P Thompson’s True Stories & Rational Numbers for keyboards in just intonation.
In 2021/22 McVinnie will give the first performances in France of an hour long work for organ and 1bit electronics written for him by Tristan Perich and a new concerto written for him by Gabriella Smith with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa Pekka Salonen, as well as solo appearances at Lyon Auditorium, Bel-Air Festival in Chambéry, France, Hidden Notes Festival and BBC Proms 2021 with the BBC Concert Orchestra with the UK premiere of Samy Moussa’s A Globe Itself Infolding.
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.