The Organist: Katherine Dienes

Katherine Dienes-Williams

Photograph of Katherine Dienes-Williams

Organist & Master of the Choristers


01483 547866

Guildford Cathedral

Katherine Dienes-Williams, MA, BMus, LTCL, FRCO, Hon ARSCM, Hon GCM 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 was the first-ever female member to be elected to the Cathedral Organists' Association, and on her appointment to Guildford, became the first ever woman to hold such a post in the Church of England.

Katherine Dienes-Williams, MA, BMus, FRCO, LTCL, Hon. FRSCM, Hon. GCM 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 WinchesterCollege. 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.

She 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 and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and has taught a masterclass at the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, USA. 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. She is in demand as a choral workshop leader in the UK, the USA and several other European countries. In January 2016, she directed the RSCM Australia/NZ summer school in Canberra, Australia. In 2017 she has 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. She has recently been elected into her secondary school’s ‘Hall of Fame’ as an outstanding alumnus (Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, Wellington, New Zealand).

Other interests include languages (her BA is in French and German), travel, reading and fitness. She is a Knight of the Grand Order of Vitéz and a Knight of the Order of St. Ladislau (Hungary).

Katherine is married to Patrick Williams, and they have a daughter (Guildford Cathedral girl head chorister) Hannah.