James McVinnie is an English organist most prominently known for his performances at significant worldwide events and his burgeoning collaborations with leading composers, performers, and artists from all over the globe.
Hailing from Kent and based in London, McVinnie began his career as an assistant at a number of locations such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Albans Cathedral, and Cambridge College, where he earned his qualifications in music. He went on to secure the position of assistant organist at Westminster Abbey between 2008 and 2011, performing at regular services as well as numerous, internationally broadcast events such as the Passing of the World War I generation and the Royal Wedding in 2011. During this time, the young organist also made his debut solo performance at the Salzburg Festival with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, and appeared on a number of choral music recordings. He went on to collaborate with a vast array of leading songwriters, producers, and performers from contemporary, popular, and experimental music, such as the likes of Beth Orton, Oneohtrix Point Never, Ben Frost, Sufjan Stevens, and Nico Muhly.
McVinnie made another solo performance at the London Royal Festival Hall in early 2014 for the Pull Out All the Stops International Organ Series, performing one of the opening recitals on the iconic 1954 Harrison & Harrison organ. He continued his work with groundbreaking songwriters, commissioning a number of works from artists such as Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry and Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang.
The organist went on to sign with esteemed Icelandic avant-garde label Bedroom Community, and released his debut solo effort, Cycles -- written for him by Nico Muhly -- in 2013 to widespread acclaim with both critics and audiences alike. The young musician returned in 2016 with more pieces for the organ, written by Philip Glass and J.S. Bach. ~ Rob Wacey