James Vivian

Organist & Conductor

James Vivian is currently Director of Music at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where he directs the famous choir in its daily liturgical schedule in addition to its performances on radio and in concert. His career has seen him associated with King’s College, Cambridge (where he was Organ Scholar), London’s famous Temple Church, and Lincoln Cathedral. He has also worked with many top UK ensembles and has recorded on labels including Decca, Sony BMG and Hyperion, and broadcast widely in the UK and abroad. He has also appeared in festivals such as The Lincoln Festival in NYC, The BBC Proms and Aldeburgh.

JAMES VIVIAN is the Director of Music at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle where he directs the professional choir of men and boys in the singing of the daily office. The choir was founded in 1348 and regularly sings in the presence of the Queen. In addition to the choir's work within the Chapel, it has won acclaim for its singing in concerts and recordings, both in Windsor and elsewhere.  Previously, he was Director of Music & Organist of London’s famous Temple Church.

James Vivian was educated at King's College, Cambridge, where he held the prestigious Dr AH Mann Organ Scholarship. During these four years, he worked closely with its world-famous choir which included playing for the annual A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast to tens of millions worldwide. Before Cambridge, he was Acting-Assistant Organist of Lincoln Cathedral. He was a prize-winner in the Fellowship examination of the Royal College of Organists, and was awarded a scholarship to study the French organ repertoire with Marie-Louise Langlais in Paris.

James has appeared in many Festivals (including the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, The Three Choirs Festival, and the Lincoln Festival in New York City), and has played recitals and concerts throughout the world (including Japan, Brazil, South Africa, USA, Bermuda and Europe). He has also been an examiner for the Royal College of Organists and the Royal Academy of Music and has broadcast on many national radio stations as a soloist. James has recorded with labels such as Decca, Signum Classics, Priory, Sony BMG, EMI and Hyperion.

In 2003, James co-directed the first performances of Sir John Tavener’s magnum opus The Veil of the Temple, an all-night vigil consisting of instrumentalists, large choirs and soloists. James was Artistic Adviser to the year-long 2008 Temple Festival and is founder of three professional ensembles - The Temple Players, The Temple Singers and Temple Brass - with whom he presented concerts, including oratorio and other large-scale choral works, opera, and a popular series of Cantata Concerts.
Under James Vivian's direction, the Temple Church Choir received critical acclaim and appeared on recordings and broadcast frequently. Concert performances of the choir included St John's Smith Square, an appearance at the opening concert of the Britten Centenary celebrations at the Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh in 2012 to sing Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, and a performance of Walton’s film music for Henry V with the Aurora Orchestra. During his time as Director of Music at the Temple Church, James oversaw the eighteen-month restoration project of the church's famous Harrison & Harrison organ which included the tonal rebalancing of the instrument. The organ was rededicated in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen in May 2013.

James' recent engagements as an organist and conductor have taken him to USA (including Yale University and The Curtis Institute of Music), Germany and Italy. In 2013, James was made an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple in recognition of his service to the Temple Church.


To contact James Vivian, please use one of the methods below. If your enquiry concerns St George's Chapel, Windsor or events at St George's Chapel, please contact The Chapter Office on 01753 848718 or chapteroffice@stgeorges-windsor.org.

c/o The Music Office

4 The Cloisters




Tel: 01753 848797

Thank you for your email. Any messages concerning St George's Chapel or events at St George's Chapel should be addressed to the Chapter Office (01753 848718).