Lionel Meunier

Lionel Meunier
© Robert Buckland

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 Mass in A Minor, Bach St John Passion, Haydn Stabat Mater and Nelson Mass, Kronung Mass, Mozart Mass in C Minor, and Franck 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 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.

Over the past couple of 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).