Our April 28 concert will go ahead as planned!
The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul will be open, and the parking lot will be available, accessible from 17th Street between Vine and Race Streets.
Streets surrounding the Cathedral Basilica will remain open.
Vox Luminis: Voices of Light
It was a very good year! The period ensemble Vox Luminis brings a European perspective to Concerts at the Cathedral Basilica, offering an enlightening program that spotlights two major composers born in 1685, Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti. With a sprinkling of motets by several Bach brothers and Scarlatti’s superb Stabat Mater, Vox Luminis promises an evening to bask in the beauty of Baroque as this high-profile Belgian ensemble makes its Philadelphia debut.
Lionel Meunier, Artistic Director
Program to Include
Johann Sebastian Bach Jesu meine Freude BWV 227
Johann Christoph Bach Der Mensch vom Weibe geboren
Johann Ludwig Bach Das ist meine Freude
Domenico Scarlatti Stabat Mater a 10 voci
Vox Luminis, founded in 2004 in Namur, Belgium, is an ensemble specializing in the performance of 16th through 18th century vocal music. The ensemble has been praised for its seamless blend of high-quality individual voices, exquisite tuning, and clarity of sound. After a performance on the acclaimed Miller Theater Early Music Series in February 2016, the New York Times called the group’s program “revelatory,” adding that singers “blended beautifully.”
The majority of the group met at one of the most significant centers for early music in Europe: the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Vox Luminis has performed in festivals and venues in Belgium (Nuits de Septembre de Liège, festival de Stavelot, Juillet Musical de Saint-Hubert, Automne Musical de Spa, MA festival Bruges, festival van Vlanderen Gent, Laus Polifoniae Antwerpen, festival des midi-Minimes, Eté Musical de Roisin, Société Philharmonique de Namur…); France (festival d’Ambronay, festival de Saintes, Rencontres Musicales de Vézelay, festival de Saint-Michel en Thiérarche, Midsummer festival d’Hardelot, festival Contrepoint 62, Festival Musique et Mémoire de Luxeuil, Musique et Natures en Bauges, festival Bach en Combrailles…); Germany (Ratingen Bachtage festival, Muziekfest Stuttgart); The Netherlands (Oude Muziek Utrecht, Den Haag, Delft); Portugal (Centro Cultural Bélem-Lisbon) and Croatia (Varazdin Baroque Evenings).
Vox Luminis records exclusively for the Belgian Label Ricercar. The ensemble’s first recording, released in 2007, features four vocal works by Domenico Scarlatti, including his famous ten-part Stabat Mater. In 2010 the ensemble released its second album, Samuel Scheidt: Sacrae Cantiones, which features several world premieres. Vox Luminis’ 2012 recording of Heinrich Schütz’s Musicalische Exequien has received several prestigious awards including Gramophone’s Recording of the Year, the Baroque Vocal Gramophone Award and the International Classical Music Award. Other recordings have also received awards throughout the world including Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice, Diapason d’Or, Choc de Classica, Muse d’Or Baroque, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Joker de Crescendo and Prix Caecilia.
Vox Luminis is very grateful to have the support of the Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles and the City of Namur.
Lionel Meunier was born in France. Passionate about music from a young age, he began his musical education at the local school in his hometown of Clamecy where he studied solfege, recorder and trumpet. Meunier continued his studies at the Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie, Namur, where he subsequently graduated with a high distinction in recorder studies in 2004. During his time at IMEP, Meunier was a student of Tatiana Babut du Maresm but also took part in masterclasses with Jean Tubéry, and also with Hugo Reyne. After his graduation, Meunier began to focus on his vocal career, studying with Rita Dams and Peter Kooij at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague.
Since then, Meunier has sung with numerous top ensembles in Europe such as Collegium Vocale Gent (P. Herreweghe), World Youth Choir, Arsys Bourgogne (P. Cao), Amsterdam Baroque Choir (T. Koopman), Namur Chamber Choir and Ex Tempore, and with soloist ensembles such as I Favoriti de la Fenice (J. Tubery), the Soloists of Namur Chamber Choir, Capella Pratensis, and the soloist ensemble of the Nederlandse Bachvereeniging. These experiences have given Meunier the opportunity to work with many of today’s leading specialists including Christophe Rousset, Tonu Kaljuste, Gustav Leonhardt, Roberto Gini, Jean-Claude Malgoire, Paul Dombrecht, Florian Heyerick, Rinaldo Alessandrini and Richard Egarr. Meunier continues to be active as a vocal soloist, performing repertoire such Schubert’s Mass in A Minor, Bach’s St John Passion, Haydn’s Stabat Mater and Nelson Mass, Kronung Mass, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, and Franck’s Mass in G.
Meunier drew on his broad wealth of vocal experience and collaboration to form the critically acclaimed vocal ensemble Vox Luminis in 2004, which was later to become his predominant musical focus. Since its inception, the ensemble has been praised for each of its concert appearances and recordings, winning numerous prestigious awards such as the Diapason d’Or, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik CHOC de Classica, and being named as Gramophone Editor’s Choice. However, it was Vox Luminis’ seminal recording of Schütz’s Musikalische (considered now to be the new reference for the repertoire) that really brought them to the fore of the choral and early music world. In 2012, the disc won unarguably one of the most coveted recording awards, Gramophone Recording of the Year, along with the Gramophone Baroque Vocal Award and the International Classical Music Award.
In recent seasons, Meunier has increasingly been in demand as a coach, artistic leader, and conductor for ensembles throughout Europe. His thoughtful approach and passion for early and a cappella repertoire, coupled with his respect and innate understanding of singers, allows him gently to coax the highest possible standards from those with whom he collaborates. Vox Luminis is consistently praised for its seamless blend of individual voices, exquisite tuning, and clarity of sound, which Meunier is able to emulate with other vocal groups thanks to his instinctive communication skills which allows him to build trust which each musician.
Also impassioned by pedagogy, Meunier and Vox Luminis regularly give masterclass and coaching, as well as lecture on the late Renaissance and Baroque repertoire.
In 2013 Lionel Meunier received the “Namurois de l’Année” award for culture (Citizen Of The Year – Namur province).