NEW YORK, NY – On November 14, 2016, Sono Luminus Records releases J.S. Bach: Partitas for Keyboard, BWV 825-830 [DSL 92209] a 3-CD set featuring two-time GRAMMY®-nominated harpsichordist Jory Vinikour. For this recording the harpsichordist and conductor, whose performances have been called “so buoyant, glistening or noble that you'll likely find yourself glued to your speakers (or headphones)” by Gramophone, performs on a stunning copy of a North German instrument of Bach's time built by Tom and Barbara Wolf.
A soloist with a repertoire ranging from Bach to Poulenc to Nyman, Jory Vinikour was nominated for a GRAMMY® award for his debut recording on Sono Luminus, The Complete Harpsichord Works of Jean-Phillipe Rameau (DSL-92154) in 2012. The recording received rave reviews with Gramophone noting, “Vinikour is such a perceptive artist, and is so superlative in technical accomplishment, that Rameau's harpsichord brainstorms sound disarming and at times even revolutionary.” Two years later, he received a second GRAMMY® nomination in the same category for his follow-up recording on Sono Luminus, Toccatas: Modern American Music for Harpsichord. That album received a 10/10 from Jed Distler from Classics Today, who wrote, “An outstanding release and an important contribution to the catalog by one of America’s greatest harpsichordists.”
Vinikour’s recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on Delos was named as one of the Top Ten CDs of 2001 by John von Rhein of The Chicago Tribune and received high praise from numerous publications including Early Music America who wrote, “In few other instances does the weight of a recorded legacy make the challenge of offering a fresh, individual voice (and of overcoming the danger of being deemed inconsequential) so daunting. All the more reason then to admire Jory Vinikour's magisterial new account, which convincingly dispels the listener's fears that this is 'just another' version.” Other notable recordings on Delos include a live concert performance from 2005; Handel: Harpsichord Suites (2009), J.S. Bach’s Flute Sonatas (with Joshua Smith, flute); and Padre Antonio Soler’s Six Concerti for Two Keyboards with harpsichordist, Philippe LeRoy.
Vinikour, who wrote the program notes himself for the new Bach Partitas CD, says “The six partitas for harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach are among the greatest and most inspired works of all keyboard literature. Although they are the first works that Bach decided to publish, they represent the composer's genius at the height of his maturity, matched only by the Goldberg Variations. Bach shows himself to be playful, profound, meditative, theatrical, virtuoso - and always the greatest composer of counterpoint of all time. The six partitas represent the apotheosis not only of Bach's unique keyboard language, and the expressive possibilities of the harpsichord, but in the inherent range of colors and contrasts within the confines of a suite.”
MORE ABOUT JORY VINIKOUR
After studying in Paris on a Fulbright scholarship with Huguette Dreyfus and Kenneth Gilbert, Jory Vinikour went on to win first prizes in the International Harpsichord Competitions of Warsaw (1993) and the Prague Spring Festival (1994). The Chicago native moved back to the U.S. after 25 years of living in France, and he continues to be an in-demand soloist, conductor and chamber musician. Vinikour appears regularly as harpsichordist at the finest opera houses and festivals in Europe: Paris Opera, Netherlands Opera, Salzburg Festival, Teatro Real de Madrid, Baden-Baden, Glyndebourne, etc. He has also performed and recorded with many of the important conductors of today including William Christie, Rene Jacobs, Marc Minkowski, Martin Haselbock, and John Nelson. He is also heard playing fortepiano on the Deutsche Grammophon recordings of Mozart's Entführung aus dem Serail and Le Nozze di Figaro led by Yannick Nezet-Seguin, among many others.
As a chamber musician, he has performed extensively with renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine, with whom he will record the Six Sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach for Cedille Records. With Baroque flutist Stephen Schultz, he recorded Bach's sonatas for flute with obbligato harpsichord for Delos. He has also recorded with renowned singers such as Anne Sofie von Otter (the 17th century compilation, Music for a While, for Deutsche Grammophon), Vivica Genaux, and Rolando Villazón. With countertenor José Lemos, he recorded Io vidi in terra – featuring Italian composers of the seicento.
As an active exponent of contemporary repertoire for the harpsichord, Vinikour has given the premieres of works written for him by composers such as Harold Meltzer, Frédéric Durieux, Stephen Blumberg, Patricia Morehead, Graham Lynch, and others. He has also given important performances of works by Ligeti and Michael Nyman, as well as several 20th century concerti, including Cyril Scott's 1937 Harpsichord Concerto, which Vinikour prepared and edited for Novello Editions.
Jory Vinikour’s work as a conductor includes his debut with The Chicago Opera Theater in November, 2016, leading Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. In August, 2016, Vinikour led West Edge Opera’s production of Georg Friedrich Handel’s Agrippina. Vinikour is also the Artistic Director of Great Lakes Baroque concert series in Milwaukee, and was named Artistic Director of the Chicago Bach Ensemble in the summer of 2016.