Internationally renowned as the founder and artistic director of the award-winning Belgian vocal ensemble Vox Luminis, French conductor and bass Lionel Meunier is widely regarded as one of the most dynamic and highly acclaimed artistic leaders in the fields of historical performance and choral music active today. Praised for his detailed yet spirited interpretative approach, he is now increasingly in demand as a guest conductor and artistic director with choirs, ensembles, and orchestras worldwide.
Lionel’s international breakthrough came in 2012 with Vox Luminis’ Gramophone Recording of Year award for their recording of Heinrich Schütz’ Musicalische Exequien. Under his leadership, Vox Luminis has since embarked on extensive concert tours throughout Europe, North America, and Asia; established multi-season artistic residencies at Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh Festival, Utrecht Early Music Festival, and Concertgebouw Brugge; and recorded about 20 critically acclaimed albums. The recording of Buxtehude won them their second Gramophone Award, for 2019 Choral Recording of the Year.
As a guest conductor, Lionel has worked with Netherlands Bach Society, Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Salzburg Bach Choir, and the Boston Early Music Festival Collegium and has led projects with Vox Luminis in collaboration with Orchestra B’Rock, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and L’Achéron, among many others. Lionel maintains a close relationship with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Consort, returning regularly to lead collaborative projects with Vox Luminis that cover a wide repertoire.
Highlights of the 2022/2023 season included a residency at Juilliard culminating in a highly acclaimed performance of Purcell’s King Arthur in Alice Tully Hall; and a three-week European tour with Vox Luminis and Freiburg Baroque Orchestra with Bach’s St Matthew Passion to major venues including Berlin Philharmonie, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, and Palau de la Musica, Barcelona. The 2023/2024 season includes performances all over Europe and North America with Vox Luminis and a residency at CNSMD Paris where Lionel will conduct performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St. John Passion. He is also guest conductor at Conservatorium Amsterdam for a series of concerts around Henry Purcell’s Ode to St. Cecilia.
Born in France, Lionel was trained as a singer and recorder player and began his career as a bass in renowned ensembles such as Collegium Vocale Ghent, Amsterdam Baroque Choir, and Capella Pratensis. In 2013, he was awarded the title of Namurois de l’Année (Namur Citizen of the Year) for culture in the Belgian town of Namur, where he lives with his family.
“But there is also the extraordinary way in which Meunier has tuned the ensemble. First by bringing together singers with uniquely different timbres, but mostly by creating an overarching artistic sensibility that permeates the group and establishes one organic musical consciousness from which the music flows in beautiful, otherworldly weavings.”
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