Christ Church announces appointment of new Organist

The Governing Body of Christ Church is delighted to announce the appointment of Peter Holder as Organist and Official Student, with effect from the autumn.

Peter has, since 2017, held the position of Sub-Organist at Westminster Abbey, in which role he has played for many major state and royal occasions, including the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, broadcast to billions around the world. For this, he was recently made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. Fellowship is an honour reserved for alumni of the Academy, and Peter was one of just four musicians recognised in this way in 2024.

He was previously Sub-Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral. He was educated at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he took BMus (1st class) and MA.  As a highly sought-after organ soloist, Mr Holder has given recitals around the globe, including in Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the First Night of the 2019 Proms, and he is also active as a continuo player.

Peter has wide experience as a choral director. At the Abbey he was deputy director of the Choir, assisting in training the choristers. He has also held the position of Choral Director of the London International Choral Festival. He has extensive teaching experience, mentoring organ scholars as well as working with students at the Royal Academy of Music and leading masterclasses in the Anglican Choral Tradition across Europe and the US. 

The Very Reverend Professor Sarah Foot, Dean of Christ Church, said: “Peter is an outstanding musician and keyboard player and we are very fortunate to have recruited him to Christ Church.”

Peter Holder in the knave of Christ Church Cathedral


“Peter is well known to a global audience, having played at the Abbey both the funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

“Peter also has wide ranging experience in working with children and directing choirs and so is ideally suited to this role, leading our world class Cathedral Choir.

“We are enormously excited to welcome him to Christ Church.”

Peter said: “I am hugely excited to take up the post of Organist and Official Student at Christ Church, Oxford. In doing so, I inherit an exceptional legacy of musical distinction; the opportunity to continue the work of such esteemed predecessors is inspiring.

“At Westminster Abbey I leave behind friends and colleagues whose collective talents and collegiality have made the day-to-day extraordinary and special. I will treasure countless memories from the past seven years as Sub-Organist and much look forward to those that lie ahead at Oxford.”