Vox Luminis, founded in 2004 in Namur, Belgium, is an ensemble specialising in the performance of 16th - 18th century vocal music. It was named one of the ten greatest choirs in the world by BBC Music Magazine in 2020.
Vox Luminis is a Belgian early music ensemble created in 2004 by its artistic director Lionel Meunier. Today, the ensemble performs over 60 concerts a year, appearing on stages in Belgium, across Europe and around the world.
The size and composition of the group depends on the repertoire being performed but the core of soloists, mostly from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, is joined by a continuo and additional (orchestral) instrument performers. Its repertoire is essentially Italian, English and German and spans from the 16th to the 18th century.
Since its inception, the ensemble is defined by its unity and seduces as much through the personality of each timbre as it does through the colour and the uniformity of the voices. It is more than a fixed repertoire, the ensemble members wholeheartedly communicate their passion for early music and love for the audience.
Amongst the feathers in its cap, Vox Luminis can boast twelve recordings that have appeared on the labels Alpha Classics, Ricercar, Ramée and Musique en Wallonie. Its latest album, Actus tragicus, was released by the label Alpha Classics. All the albums have enjoyed international critical acclaim and been awarded many prizes: Diapason d’Or from Diapason, Editor’s Choice from Gramophone, Gramophone Recording of the Year (2012), Baroque Vocal Recording of the Year, International Classical Music Award, the Belgian press Caecilia prize, Preis der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik, Choc de Classica, Joker de Crescendo, Coup de Cœur from the Académie Charles Cros, Supersonic from Pizzicato, 10 from Luister, Incontournable from Passée des Arts, Clef de Mois from Resmusica, Disque de l’année Prélude Classical Music Award. Télérama’s ffff prize is also one of the ensemble’s great honours.
Vox Luminis has performed at many festivals in Belgium, Europe and overseas. In Belgium, these festivals include the Festival de Wallonie, the Festival van Vlaanderen and Musica Antiqua in Brugge; in the Netherlands, the Oude-Muziek festival in Utrecht; and in France, the Ambronay festival, the Saintes festival, the Rencontres Musicales, the Académie Bach in Arques-la-Bataille. They have also performed in prestigious halls like Wigmore Hall in London, the Oratoire du Louvre in Paris, the Auditoria Nacional de Música in Madrid, the Centre for Fine Arts and the Flagey Radio House in Brussels, the Bijloke in Gent, the Concertgebouw in Brugge and Belem Cultural Centre in Lisbon while the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam and the Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht, the Netherlands, have likewise welcomed Vox Luminis over the past few years.
Vox Luminis has also held many residencies for performing and perfecting its already exceptional work. Thus the walls of the Abbey of Sainte-Marie-des-Dames were opened to the ensemble, as were those of 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.
Also in 2017, the ensemble participated in many major international events, in particular, a concert at the Philharmonies in Berlin and in Köln, a concert in Arnstadt’s Bachkirche, the Thüringer Bachwochen and the Bachfest Leipzig. The year 2017 is also marked by the débuts in the grand Salle Henry Leboeuf in Brussels, to inaugurate the beginning of a five-year residence. For the next few years, Vox Luminis will also be “huisartiest” at the Concertgebouw in Brugge.
At the moment, the ensemble is busy preparing several recordings: the Dixit Diminus by G.F. Handel and the Magnificat by J.S. Bach. In addition to its own orchestra, Vox Luminis works with other renowned ensembles and orchestras. In 2017, a first project with the Franco-Canadian ensemble Masques and two collaborations with the Freiburger Barockorchester have also been scheduled.
One project, one objective, one path: introduce today’s audiences to early vocal music, passionately convey its quintessence and touch the light through the voice. Vox Luminis.
Vox Luminis receives support from Federation Wallonia-Brussels, the city of Namur and Namur Confluent Culture and is recognised by the Art and Life Tours.