Sign In for your personalized experience!
Affectionately referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet” and praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Grammy nominee Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation. He is the son of folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle and the brother of Martha Wainwright, but Rufus has achieved his success by carving out his own singular sound in the worlds of rock, opera, theater, dance and film.
Rufus has released seven studio albums and three live albums to date, including his acclaimed GRAMMY® nominated Rufus Does Judy At Carnegie Hall! which captured his celebrated Judy Garland tribute performance at the London Palladium in 2007. Rufus has received Juno Awards for Best Alternative Album in 1999 and 2002 for Rufus Wainwright and Poses, respectively, and nominations for his albums Want Two (2005) and Release the Stars (2008). He was nominated for Songwriter of the Year in 2008 for his Release the Stars album.
In May 2012, Rufus released Out Of The Game, his most commercial work to date, a collaboration with mega-producer Mark Ronson. A labor of love for both Wainwright and Ronson, Rufus calls Out of the Game, “the most pop album I’ve ever made,” with Ronson stating: “it’s the best work of my career.” The album debuted Top 25 in retail and has received widespread critical acclaim. Randall Roberts from the Los Angeles Times called Rufus’ “ability to maneuver through complex emotions one of Wainwright’s strengths” and calls Out Of The Game “an essential recording.” Mikael Wood from Entertainment Weekly calls the album “a lush, soul-infused disc…” with People Magazine’s Chuck Arnold proclaiming “the theatrical Wainwright scores an outright winner with more accessible fare.”
Rufus has performed many notable shows with some of the world’s best orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra playing original orchestrated pop songs and pieces from an extensive classical repertoire. Rufus composed Fire Shakespeare Sonnets for the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, which made its US debut in November 2010 and its UK premiere in March 2012 with the sixty-piece BBC Symphony Orchestra. He worked with the famed director Robert Wilson on a theatrical adaptation of the Sonnets at the Berliner Ensemble in 20090.
Wainwright’s much acclaimed first opera, titled Prima Donna, premiered at the Manchester International Festival in July 2009. The opera made its London debut at Sadler’s Wells in April 2010, and its North American debut in Toronto at the Luminato Festival in June 2010. Prima Donna made its long-awaited US debut in February 2012 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House. Rufus has been commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company to write his second opera, based on the story of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and Antinous. The new opera will premiere in Toronto October 2018.
Musically Rufus has collaborated with many artists including, most recently, Robbie Williams, co-writing and dueting on the title track of Robbie’s Swing Both Ways album. Rufus has also worked with Elton John, Paul Simon, Antony Hegarty, David Byrne, Joni Mitchell, Guy Chambers and Boy George among others.
Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright will be released on March 3, 2014 on Universal records. The new collection’s single-disc and digital edition features 18 standout songs that define one of modern music’s most innovative talents, as well as a brand new recording, “Me and Liza.” Rufus will make his eagerly anticipated live return to tour Europe in March, and he has confirmed U.S. dates in Spring 2014 to support the release of Vibrate.