Dr Paul Mealor

Professor in Composition


Paul Mealor 

Personal Details

Telephone: +44 (0)1224 274603
E-mail: p.mealor@abdn.ac.uk
Personal website: www.paulmealor.com
Address: Room 010
School of Education
University of Aberdeen
Macrobert Building
King's College
AB24 5UA

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Born in St Asaph, North Wales in 1975, Paul Mealor studied composition privately as a boy with William Mathias and later with John Pickard, at the University of York with Nicola LeFanu (BA, 1997, PhD, 2002) and in Copenhagen with Hans Abrahamsen and Per Nørgård. His music has been commissioned and performed at many festivals around the world by such leading ensembles as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Britten Sinfonia, and has been broadcast on BBC Radio Two, Three, Four, Japanese, Swedish and Danish Radios and Classic FM. Since January 2003 he has taught in the Music Department at the University of Aberdeen where he is Professor of Composition.

Mealor composes primarily for the voice and has written a number of cycles, songs and choral works for many leading singers and choirs in the UK and USA. A CD of his sacred choral music recorded by Con Anima Chamber Choir and entitled, Mealor: Stabat Mater was released on the Campion Cameo Label in November 2009 to critical acclaim. Gramophone Magazine described it as, 'serene and beautiful', whereas NYE New York Magazine stated, 'this is music of deep introspection with luminous tonality and a real directness and openness of expression… I wept tears of joy from beginning to end…' and, The New York Times said, 'Mealor is the most important composer to have emerged in Welsh choral music since William Mathias'.

Mealor's recent work, 'Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal' – a commission from JAM - has been recorded on the Metier Label and topped the Classical Album charts in May 2011. The Glasgow Herald wrote of it, 'Surprising turns of harmony accomplished within a traditional tonal ambience gave this composer's music a uniquely seductive freshness.' Whereas The Scotsman wrote, 'it was the world premiere of Paul Mealor's Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal for unaccompanied choir that stole the show!… This sublime music opened up from soft unison into a spectrum of warm sonorities from growling basses to soaring sopranos. The choir beautifully evoked the intimacy of the work, executing some gorgeous effects along the way.'

Mealor was catapulted to international stardom in April 2011, when 2.5 billion people (the largest audience in broadcasting history) heard his Motet, Ubi caritas performed by the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Her Majesty's Chapel Royal, conducted by James O'Donnell at the Royal Wedding Ceremony of His Royal Highness Prince William and Catherine Middleton (now TRH The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge) at Westminster Abbey. It since topped the Classical singles charts in the USA, UK, Australia, France and New Zealand and is Music Sales No. 1 'Best selling' score. In July 2011 Mealor signed a record deal with Decca Records – one of only a handful of composers to have been taken on by a major record label - and recorded his first album, 'A Tender Light' with Tenebrae Choir and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nigel Short in early July for release in November 2011. Also in November 2011 he will appear on Gareth Malone's new BBC Two series, The Choir as guest composer, and is writing a new work for the Royal British Legion's Festival of Remembrance 2011 which will be premiered at The Royal Albert Hall in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen.

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Dr Mealor's research is in composition.

His work is published by the University of York Music Press Ltd (www.uymp.co.uk)

The following are a list of completed compositions for the 2001-08 RAE Period:

Illumination (2003) (Full Orchestra). Duration: 2 ½ Minutes
Commissioned and First performed by the Aberdeen Symphony Orchestra, The Mitchell Hall, Aberdeen, November 2003, conducted by Roger B. Williams.

Rising of The Sixfold Sun (1998-2001) (Full Orchestra). Duration: 15 Minutes
First performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, St David's Hall, Cardiff, February 2001 conducted by Thomas Dausgaard. Broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Ceremony of Light (1999-2001) (Chamber Orchestra). 18 Min.
First performed by Northern Sinfonia, Newcastle, May 2001 conducted by Baldur Bronniman.

Wind Band:
Liturgy of Fire (2006) (Symphonic Wind Ensemble). 10 Min.
Commissioned and first performed by the New York University Wind Ensemble, conducted by Christian Wilhjelm at the Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 W. 4th Street, New York on 6th December 2006.

Choral Music:
Let Fall the Windows of Mine Eyes (2007-08) (SATB) 7 Min. Commissioned by the Brecon Festival and due for first performance by AVE on July 12th 2008.

Lux Benigna (2007) (SSAAA & Piano) 5 Min. Commissioned by Con Anima Chamber Choir and first performed by them at St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen, November 2007.

The Lord's Prayer (2007) (SATB) 2 Min. Commissioned by AVE first performed by them during their Italian tour 2007; receiving performances in Venice and Bologna.

Between The Mountains and the Sea (2004-05) (SATB & Piano) 4 Min.
Text: Celtic Lament, anon. Commissioned for the Stonehaven Chorus.

And Profoundest Midnight Shroud The Serene Lights of Heaven (2002) (16 Part A-Cappella Choir) 8 Min.
Text: Rilke & Shelley (English). Commissioned by & First performed by York Vocal Index (directed by John Potter) at the Sir Jack Lyons Hall, York, May 2002. Further performance at Canterbury Cathedral by the Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and during their tour of Finland, 2003.

A Prayer To Sunrise (2001) (2 Children's Choirs with Piano) 5 Min.
Text: Katherine Tynan. Commissioned & First performed by the massed children's voices of Flintshire County, Northop Hall Church, July 2002. Broadcast on BBC Radio Wales.

Canticum Sacrum (2001) (SATB A-Cappella) 5 Min.
Text: Sanctus (Latin). First performed by St Bride's Choir, St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London, April 2002 conducted by Robert Jones.

Vocal Music:
Between Eternity and Time (2008) (Soprano & Piano) 10 min. Commissioned by Irene Drummond (Soprano) and Alasdair Beatson (Piano) with funds provided by the Scottish Arts Council and due for first performance in October 2008 as part of her North Scotland tour.

The Shadows of Dreams (2007) (Soprano, Cello & Piano) 10 min. First performed by Sarah Leonard (Soprano), Ian Mitchell (Clarinet) and Huw Watkins (Piano), Elphinstone Hall, Aberdeen, 20th April 2008.

Between The Mountains and The sea (2004) (SSA) 4 Min. First performed by 'Juice' at the Warehouse, London. Broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Arranged for Alto and Harp, and performed by Laura Morley in Aberdeen, then in Hong Kong and New York.

...of night and the stars... (2002) (Baritone & Piano) 13 Min.
Text: The Talmud, Dante & St John of the Cross (English). First performed by Jeremy Huw Williams and Iwan Llywellyn-Jones, St Asaph Cathedral, September 2002. Broadcast on BBC Radio Wales.

Behold Again The Stars (2001-02) (Baritone & Piano) 8 Min.
Text: Dante (Trans. Vetch). First performed by Jeremy Huw Williams and Harvey Davies, Bangor University, April 2002.

Till Time Shall Cease (2001) (Soprano and Six Instruments) 10 Min.
Text: Plath, Rilke, Rossetti and Lewis. Commissioned by the York Festival & First performed by Sarah Dacey and York New Music Group, Sir Jack Lyons Hall, York, July 2001 conducted by Mathias Werz.

Consequences (2001). 5 Min.
First performed by Rolf Hind, Dartington Hall, August 2001.

An Endless Labyrinth: Four Studies for Piano (1999-2001). 20 Min.

Aurora Lucis Rutilat (2006). 5 Min. Composed for Roger Williams and first performed by him at King's College, Cambridge, February 2007

De Profundis (2005). 12 Min. Commissioned by George Chittenden and first performed by him at St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, 6th August 2005.

Chamber & Solo Music:
Solemn Liturgy (2005) (Solo Clarinet). 5 Min.
Commissioned by Ian Mitchell and first performed by him in Aberdeen, February 2006.

Shadows & Silhouettes (2005) (Solo Five-Octave Marimba doubling Bamboo Wind Chimes). 8 Min.
Commissioned by Mika Takehara with funds provided by the Swedish Arts Foundation for premiere in Stockholm in 2006. Subsequent tour of Scandinavia, 2006-07.

The Borders of Time (2004) (Cl/Vln/Cllo/Pno) 25 Min. Commissioned by Scottish Arts and first performed by Gemini in Mitchell Hall, Aberdeen.

Borderlands (2003-04) (Piano Trio) 8 Min. First performed by the Chagall Trio at the University of Manchester, recorded for commercial CD, 'Borderlands' (Campion/ASC Label).

Echo (2002) (Solo Percussionist). 5 Min.
Commissioned by Swedish Arts Festival & First performed by Mika Takehara in Stockholm, Sweden, September 2002. Further performances in Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway. Broadcast on Swedish Radio.

String Quartet (2001-02). 13 Min.
Commissioned by the Vale of Glamorgan Festival & First performed by Chamber Domaine, The Museum of Welsh Life, Cardiff, as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, September, 2002.

Elegy for a Play of Shadows (2001) 7 Min.
(Version 1: Cor Anglais Solo with Harp. Version 2: Cor Anglais Solo with Five Instruments). Version 1: First performed by Eamonn O'Dwyer at Sir Jack Lyons Hall, York. Version 2: Commissioned & First performed by the Britten Sinfonia, St Edmund's Theatre, Canterbury, November 2001 conducted by Nicholas Cleobury. Brodcast on Radio London.

Studies for String Quartet (2001). 9 Min.
First performed by the Belcea Quartet, Muncaster Castle, Cumbria, May 2001.

Hidden Arias (2001) (Solo Oboe). 5 Min.
First performed by Melinda Maxwell at Dartington Hall, August 2001. Further performances by Olga Norith in Copenhagen.

Brass Band:
Rhapsody On A Theme of Purcell (2001-02). 12 Min.
Commissioned by the Welsh Brass Arts Festival & First Performed by the Brighouse & Rastrick Band, conducted by David Hirst, Parc & Dare Hall, Treorchy, June 2003.

Also: a substantial amount of arrangements and transcriptions for band, including a transcription of Janaceck's 'Sinfonietta'. Also, music for beginner brass players, studies and small ensemble pieces.

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Central Publications

  • Mealor, P. The Farthest Shore, Composition, 2013
  • Mealor, P., Stollery, P. & Davidson, P. 74 Degrees North, Composition, 2012
  • Mealor, P. The Way of the Cross, Composition, 2012
  • Mealor, P. A Tender Light, Composition, 2011
  • Mealor, P. Crucifixus - an oratorio, Composition, 2011
  • Mealor, P. O vos omnes, Composition, 2011
  • Mealor, P. Salvator Mundi, Composition, 2011
  • Mealor, P. Shine Forth a Path of Stars, Composition, 2011
  • Mealor, P. Twilight, Composition, 2011
  • Mealor, P. Ubi caritas, Composition, 2011
  • Mealor, P. Via Crucis, Composition, 2011
  • Mealor, P. Your Gentleness, O God of Grace, Composition, 2011
  • Davidson, PRKA., Stollery, PJ. & Mealor, P. 74 Degrees North, Composition, 2010
  • Mealor, P. Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal, Composition, 2010
  • Mealor, P. Sanctuary Haunts, Composition, 2010
  • Mealor, P. Spectred Light, Composition, 2010
  • Mealor, P. Stabat Mater - Orchestration, Composition, 2010
  • Mealor, P. The Shadows of Dreams, Composition, 2010
  • Mealor, P. Ave, Composition, 2009
  • Mealor, P. Jesu, The Very Thought of Thee, Composition, 2009
  • Mealor, P. Locus Iste, Composition, 2009
  • Mealor, P. O Sanctissima Maria, Composition, 2009
  • Mealor, P. Stabat Mater, Composition, 2009
  • Mealor, P. Twilight Shadows, Composition, 2009
  • Mealor, P. Ave verum corpus, Composition, 2008
  • Mealor, P. Beata es, Virgo Maria, Composition, 2008
  • Mealor, P. Between Eternity and Time, Composition, 2008
  • Mealor, P. Let Fall the Windows of Mine Eyes, Composition, 2008
  • Mealor, P. Liturgy of Fire, Composition, 2006
  • Mealor, P. Swing Slow, Composition, 2006
  • Mealor, P. Between The Mountains and The Sea (Version 1), Composition, 2005
  • Mealor, P. De Profundis, Composition, 2005
  • Mealor, P. Nocturne: Sounds of the Rainforest, Composition, 2005
  • Mealor, P. Shadows & Silhouettes, Composition, 2005
  • Mealor, P. Solemn Liturgy, Composition, 2005
  • Mealor, P. Between The Mountains and the Sea (Version 2), Composition, 2004
  • Mealor, P. Borderlands, Composition, 2004
  • Mealor, P. The Borders of Time, Composition, 2004
  • Mealor, P. And Profoundest Midnight Shroud the Serene Lights of Heaven, Composition, 2003
  • Mealor, P. Another Breath of Time, Composition, 2003
  • Mealor, P. Rhapsody On A Theme of Purcell, Composition, 2003
  • Mealor, P. A Prayer To Sunrise, Composition, 2002
  • Mealor, P. Canticum Sacrum, Composition, 2002
  • Mealor, P. Echo, Composition, 2002
  • Mealor, P. Of night and the Stars, Composition, 2002
  • Mealor, P. String Quartet, Composition, 2002
  • Mealor, P. Earthsounds, Composition, 2001
  • Mealor, P. Elegy for a Play of Shadows, Composition, 2001
  • Mealor, P. Hidden Arias, Composition, 2001
  • Mealor, P. Ritual Landscapes, Composition, 2001
  • Mealor, P. Till Time Shall Cease, Composition, 2001

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