guitar, theorbo, and music director
Vincent Dumestre (b. May 1968) is the founder and artistic director of Le Poème Harmonique, with which he explores the vocal and instrumental repertoire of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. With this faithful team of artists he also seeks to revive the performing arts of the Baroque period, favoring in many of his projects interaction with other artistic disciplines.
After studying art history at the École du Louvre and classical guitar at the École Normale de Musique in Paris, Vincent Dumestre turned to the lute, Baroque guitar, and theorbo, which he studied with Hopkinson Smith and Eugène Ferré, with Rolf Lislevand at the Toulouse Conservatoire, and in the continuo class at the Boulogne Conservatoire, where he was unanimously awarded the advanced diploma. Since then he has taken part in many concerts, in particular with the Ricercar Consort, La Simphonie du Marais, Le Concert des Nations, La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy, Akademia, and the ensembles of the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. He has taken part in more than thirty recordings with those ensembles.
In 1998 Vincent Dumestre formed Le Poème Harmonique, and from the very beginning, the ensemble’s productions have won both critical acclaim and popularity. In 1999 the French music magazine Diapason voted Vincent Dumestre ‘Young Talent of the Year’ for his work with Le Poème Harmonique. Vincent Dumestre’s artistic career is essentially bound up with that of his ensemble. As the only musician on the international Baroque scene to lead a company that is directly involved in the production of large-scale stage productions, he is contributing to a new perception of the relationship between music and theater. His approach has proved immensely popular, acclaimed by critics and by the public. This same spirit of innovation characterizes the ensemble’s chamber programs, in which Vincent Dumestre continues to participate as an instrumentalist with his singers and musicians. This aspect of his work is still of fundamental importance to him, despite the fact that the ensemble’s evolution means that he often has the role of conductor. Over the past four years the repute of Vincent Dumestre and Le Poème Harmonique has grown spectacularly and the ensemble’s stage productions and concerts are now presented at many prestigious venues in France and abroad.