James Vivian

James Vivian

Organ

• Born 1974

Biography

England's James Vivian holds a highly visible position as organist and director of music at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. In this position, he has performed, among other major occasions, at the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Vivian was born in 1974. He attended the independent day school Malvern College as a Music Scholar, and while still a teen, served a year as acting assistant organist at Lincoln Cathedral. Vivian moved on to King's College, Cambridge, as an Organ Scholar, a position that financed his education while requiring him to provide music for services. Studying with John Bishop, David Sanger, and others, he also traveled to Paris for further work with Marie-Louise Langlais before graduating in 1997. He won a prize at the examination for admission to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists. Vivian served as director of music at Temple Church in London from 2006 to 2013, not only playing the organ but directing the church's venerable all-male choir. At Temple Church, he also oversaw a total renovation of the church's 1924 Harrison & Harrison organ; it was rededicated in 2013 with Queen Elizabeth II in attendance. He also founded three new ensembles, the Temple Players, Temple Singers, and Temple Brass. Vivian proceeded to St. George's Chapel, Windsor, where he assumed leadership of a choir dating back to the year 1348. There, he not only had the opportunity to make music for the Queen frequently, but also to perform at the weddings of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank. As an organist, he has given recitals far beyond Britain, including in the U.S., Japan, and Brazil. He made several recordings for the Signum label, including English Organ Music from the Temple Church (2010), moving to Hyperion for 2019's Christmas at St. George's Windsor.

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