Nico Muhly

A British organist reaches America by way of Reykjavik

A British organist reaches America by way of Reykjavik

James McVinnie, who took a turn on the imposing Walt Disney Concert Hall organ Sunday night as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s recital series, has all the qualifications for being a properly British young organist. He is modest in manner. He is an elegantly unshowy player.

Cambridge trained, he has served as assistant organist of Westminster Abbey. He has participated on many a recording of unassuming British sacred and choral music. He played at the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, for heaven’s sake.

What makes McVinnie stand out is his involvement with several American composers — Nico Muhly in particular, along with David Lang and Philip...

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