Peter Holder has held the post of Sub-Organist of Westminster Abbey since October 2017. He is the principal organist for the Abbey’s daily services and at state occasions, and accompanies the Abbey Choir in its concerts, recordings and broadcasts. He is the principal deputy conductor of the choir and supports Organist and Master of the Choristers Andrew Nethsingha in training the Abbey choristers.
Having served for two years as Organ Scholar of Westminster Abbey, Peter was Sub-Organist of St Paul’s Cathedral between 2014 and 2017. He regularly accompanied choral services and played a significant role in developing the portfolio of organ events at the Cathedral, including staging two Grand Organ Galas in which he appeared as soloist in concerti by Handel and Poulenc. Peter was previously Organ Scholar of St Albans Cathedral, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, and Southwell Minster.
As a recitalist, Peter performs in cathedrals and concert halls across the world. He made his BBC Proms solo debut at the 2019 First Night of the Proms performing Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass. Ivan Hewett, writing for The Daily Telegraph, remarked that '…it was Peter Holder’s wild organ solo which stole the show', whilst BBC Music Reporter Mark Savage wrote that '…Holder deservedly received an ovation after untangling the labyrinthine solo'.
Peter returned to the BBC Proms in 2021 to perform a solo organ recital as part of the Royal Albert Hall’s 150th anniversary celebrations. His programme culminated with Liszt’s Fantasia and Fugue on 'Ad nos, ad salutarem undam', which musicOMH reviewer Sam Smith described as ‘…a breathtaking half hour of virtuoso playing in which different moods and themes were delineated to wondrous effect…Holder certainly succeeded in raising a normal Saturday morning to the realms of the ethereal…’.
Peter’s solo recording, Bach ist der Vater, wir sind die Buben, produced at Neresheim Abbey, has garnered much praise. Commenting on the release for Organists’ Review, Christopher Maxim wrote: 'Impeccable articulation … playing with great precision and yet also a humanity that imparts life and warmth … Peter Holder is a true musician who never loses the thread of the musical argument. … Fantastic music, organ and acoustic; and a superlative organist.’ Peter regularly features on BBC Radio and Television broadcasts.
Peter is an organ tutor at the Royal Academy of Music, his alma mater. He completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies under the tutelage of David Titterington, winning numerous major prizes and awards. He undertook further study with Jon Laukvik at Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart, and with Thierry Escaich in Paris. In 2016 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.