Over the coming weeks, we will be profiling a number of the tutors involved in the Oundle for Organists program to help you find out more about the experts leading our courses this year. We begin this series of profiles with a look at the career of Katherine Dienes-Williams.
Katherine Dienes-Williams, MA, BMus, FRCO, LTCL, Hon. FRSCM, Hon. FGCM was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral in January 2008 following six years as Director of Music at the Collegiate Church of St. Mary, Warwick. She is also the Musical Director of the Winchester-based chamber choir, Southern Voices.
Katherine was born and educated in Wellington, New Zealand and studied for a BA in Modern Languages and a BMus at Victoria University, Wellington. Katherine was Organ Scholar at Wellington Cathedral from 1988 to 1991 when she was appointed Assistant Organist there. Katherine came to England in 1991 to take up the post of Organ Scholar at Winchester Cathedral and Assistant Organist at Winchester College. She has also held posts as Organist and Assistant Director of Music at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, Assistant Organist and Director of the Cathedral Girls’ Choir at Norwich Cathedral prior to moving to Warwick as Director of Music at the Collegiate Church of St. Mary.
Katherine is a Council member of the Royal College of Organists and a trustee of the Organists Charitable trust and is regularly asked to be a guest choral workshop leader for the Royal School of Church Music in the UK, South Africa, the USA, Canada and Australia. Katherine has given several organ recitals in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, U.S.A., Bermuda, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Spain and Singapore. She has performed as organ soloist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé, the City of London Sinfonia, Southern Pro Musica and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2018 she performed the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony in the London’s Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and again in May 2018 with Southern Pro Musica in Guildford Cathedral. She is also active as a composer, having received several commissions both in the UK, the USA and New Zealand. Katherine holds a Master of Arts in Music and Liturgy from Leeds University. She features both as organist and choral conductor on several recordings.
Katherine is in demand as a choral workshop leader in the UK, the USA and several other European countries. In 2017 she directed the St. Thomas’ girl choristers’ course at St. Thomas’ Church Fifth Avenue, New York, USA and the RSCM Lincoln Cathedral summer girl choristers’ course. In summer 2019 she directed the St. Thomas’ girl choristers’ course in New York. This coming summer 2021 she will tutor on the Oundle Organists’ course in the UK and in 2022 will direct the RSCM advanced trebles course in Washington DC.