Bedroom Community

James McVinnie

Organist James McVinnie is internationally renowned both as soloist and ensemble player, and is recognized for his fresh approach to the repertoire. Recent highlights have included concerts in the Holland Festival with Oneohtrix Point Never and the Nederlands Kamerkoor, the Salzburg Festival with Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, the BBC Proms with Zürcher Kammerorchester, the opening night of Southbank Centre’s 2014 Meltdown, curated by James Lavelle, and at the MusicNOW festival, curated by Bryce Dessner of indie rock band The National. 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. James previously held organ playing positions at Westminster Abbey, St-Paul’s Cathedral, St-Albans Cathedral, and at Clare College, Cambridge where he studied music and was Organ Scholar. His teachers were Sarah Baldock, Thomas Trotter and Hans Fagius.

A strong advocate of new music, James regularly collaborates with leading contemporary composers and musicians, including Nico Muhly, Nadia Sirota, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Sufjan Stevens, Sam Amidon, Alexi Murdoch, Mara Carlyle, Oneohtrix Point Never, James Lavelle with UNKLE, Beth Orton and Ben Frost. He has commissioned works from Nico Muhly, Martin Creed (winner of the 2001 Turner Prize), Richard Reed Parry (of Arcade Fire), Shara Worden (of My Brightest Diamond), and David Lang (winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in music). As a continuo player, he has appeared with leading period instrument ensembles at virtually every European early music festival. He appears on numerous recordings with the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, The Cardinall’s Musick and The King’s Consort. He also regularly appears with the BBC Singers as their accompanist or soloist.

James McVinnie is a member of Bedroom Community, the Icelandic record label and close-knit collective comprising nine 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. In 2017, a follow-up remix album Cycles_1 was released on Bedroom Community - featuring remixes from Sam Slater, Matt Huxley, Scanner, Talos, Paul Evans, Liam Byrne and Alex Groves.

What the press says

Taking the composer’s schitzophrenic and haunting amalgamation of layered notes and texture, McVinnie breathes life into Cycles with dark intensity. The turbulence of Muhly’s compositions feels slightly more delicate and sparkling pouring out of the pipe organ, building and growing to a powerful and stimulating abrupt end. And as is usually the case with Muhly’s music, leaves you craving the next note.

Hillary Weston — BlackBook Magazine (July 2nd 2013) Read all reviews

James Mcvinnie’s playing is cavernous and lifted. the higher notes are like cascading crystals that sparkle in an abundant, musical flourish, but the instrument is also capable of an unrivalled thunderous roar. cycles switches between the two extremes at one point or another, taking in the wide, intervallic range of the instrument, allowing the music to breathe deeply but keeping everything compact and restricted to an upright, almost regal posture.

Fluid Radio (July 29th 2013) Read all reviews

McVinnie’s feel for the many moods in the cycle is as impressive as his technical command of the organ.

Q2 (August 5th 2013) Read all reviews

‘Cycles’ is a big, big sound, cathedral-esque and in places overwhelming, with only the addition of the violin and the beautiful tenor vocal performance from Simon Wall on the first part of ‘Seven O Antiphon Preludes’.

Norman Records (August 8th 2013) ★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Media

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James McVinnie - ‘Opening’ from Glassworks (Philip Glass)

James McVinnie performs “Opening” from Glassworks (Philip Glass) for The Line of Best Fit.

James McVinnie & Nadia Sirota

James McVinnie & Nadia Sirota at Music NOW festival.

Filmed by Derrick Belcham, produced by A Story Told Well & Music Now for La Blogothèque.

Hi-res photo

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Discography

Cycles
Released on 12 August 2013
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