James McVinnie: Bach, Glass & Muhly
Hear the innovative music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Philip Glass and Nico Muhly, as the Royal Festival Hall's organ is brought back to life.
One of the more free-spirited of Bach's set of 48 Preludes and Fugues is performed alongside various movements from The Art of Fugue – the composer's testament to the power of the multivoiced musical conversation.
Glass played the music of Bach as an aspiring young composer in Paris. From Bach, he learned how music might be grand and intricate, diligent yet imaginative.
In a different kind of musical conversation, Glass' Music in Fifths repeats the same five notes in constantly shifting patterns, to mesmerising effect.
The centrepiece to this stunning programme is two movements of Nico Muhly's complex and fascinating Patterns.
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 and Nico Muhly along with Tom Jenkinson/Squarepusher, Angelique Kidjo, Martin Creed, David Lang, Richard Reed Parry, Bryce Dessner and Darkstar, many of whom have written large scale works for him. He has released music on Bedroom Community, Orange Mountain Music and Warp Records.
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 here at the Royal Festival Hall in March 2014, giving one of the six reopening recitals on our iconic 1954 Harrison & Harrison organ following its refurbishment. He made his solo debut in the Salzburg Festival at age 26 performing with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under Ivor Bolton.
Later this year, two double portrait albums of music by Bach and Glass are being released on Bedroom Community featuring McVinnie at both organ and piano.
- James McVinnie organ
- JS Bach: Contrapunctus 1; Contrapunctus 7 (Per aug et dim); Contrapunctus 9 (Alla duodecima) from The Art of Fugue, BWV.1080
- Philip Glass: Music in fifths
- JS Bach: Canon alla ottava from The Art of Fugue, BWV.1080; Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV.546
- Nico Muhly: Palindromes (No.2); Very fast music (No.4) from Patterns for organ
- JS Bach: Chorale-prelude, Dies sind die heil'gen zehn Gebot, BWV.678; Fugetta super Dies sind die heil'gen zehn Gebot, BWV.679; Contrapunctus 5; Fuga a 3 soggetti (unfinished) from The Art of Fugue, BWV.1080; Chorale-prelude, Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, BWV.641
Dates & times
To maintain social distancing, seats are available in groups of one or two.
Boxes of 4 available for £60
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* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.
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Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall is open to all from Friday 28 May for access to the Level 2 foyers, Level 2 toilets, the National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre Shop and Riverside Terrace Cafe at the following times:
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Blue Badge parking at National Theatre
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can be found at the National Theatre car park (330 metres). If you are visiting the Hayward Gallery, just take your badge and car park ticket to the Ticket Desk in the gallery foyer for validation before you leave.
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Alternative parking is available nearby at the APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park (490 metres), subject to charges.
Blue Badge parking at APCOA Cornwall Road
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can also be found at the South Bank Car Park – APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park. Just take your badge and car park ticket to the parking attendant office at the entrance to the car park for validation before you leave.
A drop-off point at the Royal Festival Hall (30 metres) has been created for visitors who are unable to walk from alternative car parks.
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