Johann Vexo was born in 1978 in the northeastern French city of Nancy. At the age of 25, he was appointed Choir Organist of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Soon thereafter he was also appointed Organist of the Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Cathedral in Nancy, Professor of Organ at the Angers Conservatory and the European Music Summer Academy in Nancy.
Johann Vexo first studied organ with Strasbourg Conservatory, where he was awarded Premier Prix in organ. He continued his studies at the Paris Conservatory where his teachers included Michel Bouvard and Olivier Latry for organ, Thierry Escaich and Philippe Lefebvre for improvisation. He earned Premier Prix in both organ and basso continuo and additional prizes in harmony and counterpoint.
Johann Vexo has performed extensively throughout Europe, the United States, Canada and Russia. He has appeared as a featured artist in numerous international music festivals and organ series in cities such as Dalla, New York, Quebec, Moscou, Antwerp, Düsseldorf, Porto, Riga and Vienna. His performances have also included notable venues such as the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington DC, the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston, the Wanamaker Grand Court in Philadelphia, the KKL in Lucerne, the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal and the Yekaterinburg Philharmonic Hall.
Johann Vexo has also performed with various orchestras and musical ensembles. He has been invited to teach organ master classes for the American Guild of Organists and at prestigious institutions including Rice University in Houston, the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Westminster Choir College in Princeton and Aveiro University (Portugal). He has recorded several CDs on historical French organs, especially one on the JAV Recordings label on the great organ of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Johann Vexo is represented by Philip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC (www.concertartists.com)
Damien Rivière began studying music at the Maîtrise Sainte-Marie in Antony, with whom he sang numerous concerts in France and elsewhere in Europe. He entered the singing class of Catherine Cardin, followed by the Maîtrise Notre-Dame de Paris, where he went through comprehensive musical training and performed a diverse repertoire, ranging from medieval to contemporary music, directed by Lionel Sow, Sylvain Dieudonné, and guest conductors such as John Nelson, Jérôme Correas, Reinhard Goebel and Sir Norrington.
Damien Rivière has worked on his singing with Michael Mardayer, Yves Sotin and Christiane Patard, and has learned from Margreet Hönig, Paul Triepels, Udo Reinemann, and Alain Buet in masterclass settings.
He sings with numerous early music groups, including the William Byrd ensemble, Venance Fortunat, Vox Cantoris, Energeia, and the Vocal Ensemble of Notre-Dame de Paris. As an oratorio soloist, he can be heard singing Baroque repertoire (Charpentier's Messe de Minuit, Les Méditations pour le Carême, and Te Deum; Purcell's King Arthur; Handel's Dixit Dominus; Gilles's Requiem and Delalande's Te Deum among others). He has also sung a variety of cantatas: many works of Bach (including the role of Endymion in the Hunting Cantata), the title role in Carissimi's Jephté, Tancrede in Monteverdi's Il combatimenti di Tancredi e Clorinda. Notable among Rivière's recent romantic and contemporary performances are Dvorák's Mass in D with the orchestra of Luxembourg (conducted by Nicolas Brochot) and Ramirez's Missa Criolla.
On the operatic stage, Damien Rivière has played the roles of Gontran in the Musketeers at the Convent, Admète in Lully's Alceste, and Master Peter in Master Peter's Puppet Show by De Falla. He has recorded for Psalmus: Jeux d'orgue et de vois (2012), Certon's Requiem with Vox Cantoris (2013), and an album of baroque plainsong for the CMBV and Xaier Bisaro (2014).
Damien Rivière regularly sings in services at Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.