Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: making great music personal

Jory Vinikour


Jory Vinikour is recognized as one of the outstanding harpsichordists of his generation. A highly diversified career brings him to important festivals and concert halls as recital and concerto soloist, as partner to several of today’s finest singers and as one of the most visible continuo performers. Born in Chicago, Vinikour came to Paris on a scholarship from the Fulbright Foundation to study with Huguette Dreyfus and Kenneth Gilbert. First Prizes in the International Harpsichord Competitions of Warsaw (1993) and the Prague Spring Festival (1994) brought him to the public’s attention, and he has since appeared in performances in Deauville and Monaco (Semaine de la Musique Baroque), at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and at the Besançon, Miami Bach and Indianapolis Early Music festivals, as well as in South America, Taiwan and Iceland.

A concerto soloist with repertoire ranging from Bach to Nyman, he has performed as soloist with leading orchestras including the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Flanders Opera Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Philharmonic of Radio France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Cape Town Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlands, Lausanne, and Moscow chamber orchestras with conductors such as Marek Janowski, Armin Jordan, Fabio Luisi, Marc Minkowski, John Nelson, Gordan Nikolic, Constantine Orbelian and Victor Yampolsky. He participated in a recording of Frank Martin’s Petite Symphonie Concertante with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Armin Jordan (Suisse Romande, 2005), and also performed the Harpsichord Concerto by the same composer with the Symphony Orchestra of the MDR in Leipzig’s Gewandhaus under the direction of Martin Haselböck in January of 2003.

Well-known as an accompanist, Vinikour has appeared extensively in recital with such artists as David Daniels, Hélène Delavault, Magdalena Kozena, Annick Massis and Marijana Mijanovic, among others. He has accompanied legendary Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter in recitals in Sweden, Norway, Spain and Paris and at La Scala in Milan. His recording of English and Italian music of the 17th century with lutenist Jakob Lindberg, entitled Music for a While, was released by Deutsche Grammophon in early 2005.

A well-rounded musician, Vinikour is gaining a reputation as a conductor (studies with Vladimir Kin and Denise Ham) and music director. His recent appearances with Musica Angelica were greeted with great enthusiasm by press and public alike. Conducting his own ensemble, Le Point du Jour, he accompanied stellar counter-tenor David Daniels in a five concert tour – Köln Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Münich Herkulessaal, the Concertgebouw and the Barbican Center. For France 2 television, he has conducted Annick Massis in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and arias by Händel

Vinikour appears regularly as harpsichordist/ continuist at the Paris Opera, Netherlands Opera, Salzburg Festival, Teatro Real de Madrid and Glyndebourne, among others. He is a regular presence at the Zurich Opera, and has appeared on their stage (disguised as Handel!) with Cecilia Bartoli in Handel’s Il trionfo del tempo é del disinganno. He has been involved in the musical activities of the Château de Chimay (Belgium) since 2002, and is musical co-ordinator of the Baroque Voice Competition, held there annually. He performed Stravinsky’s solo harpsichord part in productions of The Rake’s Progress at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and at the Paris Opera in the 2007-2008 season.

His recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, released on Delos International in 2001, received excellent reviews throughout the world. John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune named it one of 2001’s top ten classical CDs, an honor that was also accorded to Vinikour’s recording of Bach’s seven harpsichord toccatas in 1999. Vinikour released a double-CD collection for Delos International of Handel’s keyboard music at the end of 2008, followed by recordings of the keyboard music of Pancrace Royer and Jacques Duphly. He has given premieres of Régis Campo’s Perpetuum mobile and Toccatas by Harold Meltzer, both written for him.

Recent appearances include a recital of Bach and Handel for Music before 1800 (New York), performances as director and harpsichordist with Musica Angelica in Los Angeles, and he appeared as soloist with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Marek Janowski) and Cape Town Philharmonic. He also made appearances in Reykjavik (Salurinn concert series), participated in a recording of Handel arias with Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon and the Gabrieli Consort (directed by Paul McCreesh) and performed at the Picoolo Spoleto and Oslo Chamber Music festivals. Vinikour was guest artistic director of the Austrian Baroque Academy in Gmunden, Austria for the summer session of 2008.

Jory Vinikour

photo Kobie van Rensburg

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