Everything We Know About The Queen's Funeral Organist, Peter Holder

As the funeral service for Queen Elizabeth II took place at Westminster Abbey, mourners were soothed by an assortment of musical pieces performed by the abbey's talented organists and choristers.

LBC reports that the music began prior to the ceremony, with the 30-year-old assistant organist Matthew Jorysz performing a variety of works by composers including Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughn Williams, and Orlando Gibbons, while the service proper included the singing of three hymns by the mourners, as well as several pieces sung by Westminster Abbey Choir and the Choir of His Majesty's Chapel Royal, directed by the Master of the Choristers, James O'Donnell, and performances by military bands.

Another figure central to the music in the order of service for the queen's funeral was Peter Holder, the acclaimed Westminster Abbey sub-organist who performed two Elgar pieces to herald the Procession of Religious Representatives, as well as "Fantasia in C minor BWV 562" by Johann Sebastian Bach at the close of the service as the coffin was taken out of Westminster Abbey. So how did he land such a high-profile gig?

Peter Holder is quite accomplished

Peter Holder has risen to become one of the U.K.'s leading organists, with his performance at Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral just one of the crowning achievements in his distinguished career.

Holder gained particular prominence in classical music circles in 2019, when the organist received a standing ovation following his debut at the BBC Proms, the U.K.'s biggest annual classical music event. Per his official website biography, Holder's moment of glory came after a showstopping performance of Leos Janáček's "Glagolitic Mass," which saw him invited back to the Proms in 2021 for another warmly received solo slot.

As well as performing, Holder also teaches organ at the Royal Academy of Music, where he has been an associate since 2016. He performed at St. Paul's Cathedral for period of three years and played organs in countless major cathedral events and regular services before joining Westminster Abbey as a sub-organist in 2017. He also helps to direct the abbey's choristers as the deputy of James O'Donnell. His album, "Bach ist der Vater, wir sind die Buben" has been widely praised, and he appears regularly on the BBC.