James McVinnie’s work as a performer encompasses music from the 16th century to the present day. He has collaborated with many leading figures in new music including Philip Glass, Tom Jenkinson/Squarepusher, Angelique Kidjo, Nico Muhly, Martin Creed, Richard Reed Parry, Bryce Dessner, Darkstar, Hildur Guanadottir, David Lang, Sarah Davachi many of whom have written large scale 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 2018.
This season's highlights include the first performances of Philip Glass’s Symphony 12 Lodger with Angekique Kidjo and the Los Angeles Philharmonic under John Adams and in London with the London Contemporary Orchestra at Southbank Centre, a Messiaen recital in Lieu Unique Festival, performances of Nico Muhly's organ concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra, an evening-length collaboration with electronic duo Darkstar for the SPCO Liquid Music series, and the release of an album of music written for McVinnie by Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher) on Warp Records. He also appears in recital at Paris Philharmonie and London's Southbank and Barbican Centres.
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.