"The ensemble gave one of the best vocal performances of sacred Baroque music that I have heard in recent years..." — Alison DeSimone, KCMetropolis.org
"Their artistry stunned the audience into silence before they eventually broke out into rapturous applause." — Roger Jones, Seen and Heard International
Lionel Meunier, Founder and Artist Director
Location: The Broad Stage - Main Stage
The Belgian, early-music ensemble Vox Luminis has been praised for its seamless blend of high quality individual voices, exquisite tuning and clarity of sound. Works by Luther, Schütz, Purcell and Bach comprise this poignant program, exploring the rich history of musical memorials that both mourn death and celebrate life.
Spotlight Talk with Dr. Jeremiah Selvey starting at 6:45 PM. Learn more here.
Luther: Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin
Schütz: Musikalische Exequien, “Funeral Mass”, Op. 7
Purcell: Funeral Sentences for the Queen Mary
J.S. Bach: Jesu meine Freude
Vox Luminis is a Belgian early music vocal ensemble created in 2004 by Artistic Director Lionel Meunier. The size and composition of the group depends on the repertoire, with the core of soloists, mostly from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, often joined by additional performers. The repertoire is essentially Italian, English and German and spans from the 16th to the 18th century. Vox Luminis boasts 12 albums on the labels Alpha Classics, Ricercar, Ramée, and Musique en Wallonie. These recordings have enjoyed international critical acclaim, and have won numerous prizes including the prestigious Gramophone Recording of the Year in 2012 for the Musicalische Exequien by Heinrich Schütz. Vox Luminis has performed extensively at festivals in Belgium, Europe and overseas, and has performed in prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall in London, the Oratoire du Louvre in Paris, the Auditoria Nacional de Música in Madrid, the Concertgebouw in Brugge, the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht. Residencies for the ensemble have been held at the Abbey of Sainte-Marie-des-Dames, the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, the Concertgebouw in Brugge, the prestigious Festival of Early Music in Utrecht, and the "Musique et Mémoire Festival.” In 2017, the Aldeburgh Festival in England, founded by Benjamin Britten, hosted the ensemble for the first time.
Lionel Meunier is a singer and the founder/artistic director of the early music vocal ensemble Vox Luminis. Being passionate about music from a very young age, he started his musical education in the city of Clamecy (France) with the trumpet, recorder and solfège. Lionel then continued his studies at Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie (the Superior Institute of Music and Pedagogy - IMEP) in Namur where he earned his degree in recorder with great distinction. He took classes from Tatiana Babut du Marès and Hugo Reyne, and masterclasses with Jean Tubéry. Meunier then focused his attention on vocal studies with Rita Dams and Peter Kooij at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague (NL). At the same time, he started a career as a concert musician. He was soon in demand as a soloist, and he joined prestigious ensembles like Collegium Vocale Ghent (P. Herreweghe), World Youth Choir, Arsys Bourgogne (P. Cao), Amsterdam Baroque Choir (T. Koopmann), the Chamber Choir of Namur, the Favoriti de la Fenice (J. Tubéry), the Soloists of the Chamber Choir of Namur, Cappella Pratensis (S. Bull) and the soloists of the Dutch Bach Vereniging (J. Van Veldhoven). Over the past two years, Lionel Meunier has been increasingly in demand from many ensembles throughout Europe as coach, conductor and artistic leader. His passionate yet thoughtful approach to the early music and a capella repertoire, combined with the understanding of and respect for the singers, has allowed him to achieve progressively ever-higher standards. Moreover, he is jury member for many international festivals and competitions.
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