Vincent Dumestre is the founder and artistic director of Le Poème Harmonique, with which he explores the vocal and instrumental repertoire of the 17th and early 18th centuries. With this faithful team of artists, Dumestre also seeks to revive the performing arts of the Baroque period, thereby favouring interaction between music and other artistic disciplines – opera, dance, and theatre in many of his projects.
Born in May 1968, Vincent Dumestre studied art history at the École du Louvre and classical guitar at the École Normale de Musique de Paris. He subsequently devoted himself to the Baroque repertoire, studying the lute, theorbo and Baroque guitar under Hopkinson Smith, Eugène Ferré and Rolf Lislevand, among others, before performing with numerous European Baroque ensembles, including the Ricercar Consort, La Simphonie du Marais, Le Concert des Nations, La Grande Écurie, La Chambre du Roy, and Akademia.
In 1998, he founded Le Poème Harmonique, the artistic company that has revolutionised the way we see the Baroque aesthetic. As an instrumentalist, he has surrounded himself with a loyal team of musicians and singers and brought forgotten composers back to life; his disks devoted to Moulinié, Castaldi, Briçeno and Belli have shed new light on musical life through the familiar repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Fascinated by the connections between music, theatre and popular culture, he works with artists from a variety of backgrounds and has produced a large number of shows that celebrate the wonderful vitality of the Baroque imagination. With stage director Benjamin Lazar, he revived Lully’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme (2004) and Cadmus et Hermione (2008), taking an historical approach to theatrical conventions that has been met with widespread acclaim. In partnership with Cécile Roussat, he created Le carnaval baroque (2006), which combines comedy, music and the circus arts in an original show, before turning his attention to Dido and Aeneas by Purcell (2014). Alongside his stage productions, which include Caligula (2011), Egisto (2012) and more recently To Be or Not To Be (2016), Vincent Dumestre has gained considerable experience as a Baroque conductor. Over the course of the seasons, he has directed programmes devoted to Te Deum by Charpentier and Lully, Selva morale e spirituale by Monteverdi and Odes by Purcell, performed with a full complement of musicians.
Named “Young Talent 1999” by “Diapason” magazine, he has received some of the world’s most prestigious press awards, including the Diapason d’Or and Choc du Monde de la musique, and recommendations in “Classica”, “Télérama”, ”Répertoire” and “Opéra international”. His most acclaimed shows attract tens of thousands of spectators and sell as many DVDs when they go on sale.
Invited to perform at the world’s most celebrated concert halls, opera houses, and festivals, he has appeared among others at the Opéra Comique, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opéra Royal de Versailles, Cité de la Musique,, Opéra de Rouen, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, Wiener Konzerthaus, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Kölner Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Forbidden City Hall in Beijing, Oji Hall in Tokyo, Columbia University in New York, Teatro Canal in Madrid, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Saint Petersburg Philharmonia, Palais of Arts in Budapest, National Theatre in Prague, and many others, as well as at the festivals in Ambronay, Beaune and Sablé-sur-Sarthe, Festival of Utrecht, and BBC Proms.
Vincent Dumestre is the artistic director of the Baroque Seasons, a series of concerts performed in the historic setting of the Chapelle Corneille in Rouen. He also serves as the Director-Resident of the Misteria Paschalia Festival 2017. Vincent Dumestre and Le Poème Harmonique are supported by the Région Normandie.