Rufus Wainwright

The son of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, Rufus Wainwright (singer-songwriter and pianist) grew up steeped in folk music in the United States and in Quebec. At age thirteen, he composed a song for the film Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller, in which he played himself. It was the first in a long series of collaborations with cinema: Brokeback MountainBridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Moulin Rouge... He released his first self-titled album in 1998, and the albums that followed made him a household name and established his style of sensual and lyrical pop, with a tinge of romantic music. In 2007, he released Release the Stars, the soundtrack to a lost musical for which only the score would remain, and performed the entire Judy Garland 1961 concert at Carnegie Hall—the album, recorded live, would be nominated for a Grammy Award. In response to a commission by the Metropolitan Opera of New York, this fan of Verdi, Puccini, and Berlioz, composed Prima Donna, an opera in five acts for seventy musicians, with a libretto in French. A project that led to a film and, today, a visual concert.

Portrait of Rufus Wainwright © Matthew Welch