Obituary: James Holland (1933–2022)

The LSO is saddened to hear of the death in January of former Principal Percussionist, James Holland.

James Holland, pictured in LSO St Luke's in 2005

Image: James Holland at a past players reunion at LSO St Luke's in 2005

Jimmy was a Member of the LSO Percussion section from 1959 to 1972, playing Principal from 1962.

He began playing percussion in the Army cadets aged 13 and later studied with Peter Allen at Trinity College as well as Charles Donaldson, his predecessor at the LSO. He spent several years with the London Philharmonic Orchestra before joining the LSO.

When Pierre Boulez became Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jimmy left the LSO to become their Principal Percussionist. As well as working with Boulez, he worked with many eminent contemporary composers including Karlheinz Stockhausen, Oliver Knussen, Krystof Penderecki and Hans Werner Henze.

He is the author of the book Percussion which is part of the Menuhin Music Guide Series as well as Practical Percussion, A Guide to Instruments and their Sources.

Our thoughts are with his wife, Rita, his son Barry and daughter Nicky, and all his family and friends at this sad time.