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Paul Mealor

Born: 1975

Nationality: British

Publisher: Novello & Co

Photo © Chris O'Donovan


Paul Mealor has been described as, 'the most important composer to have emerged in Welsh choral music since William Mathias' (New York Times, 2001) and became the first classical composer to hold both the classical and pop chart No 1's at the same time in December 2011 with Wherever You Are, his piece for The Military Wives Choir and Gareth Malone. It was nominated for Best British Single in the 2012 BRIT Awards and has been named by the Official Charts Company as the fastest selling single since Elton John's Candle in the Wind. He was also voted the nation's favourite living composer during the 2012 Classic FM Hall of Fame.

Born in St Asaph, North Wales, in 1975, Mealor studied composition with William Mathias and later with John Pickard, at the University of York (BA 1997, PhD 2002), and in Copenhagen with Hans Abrahamsen. His music has been commissioned and performed at many festivals and by many orchestras and choruses, and broadcast on every major TV and Radio station throughout the world. Since 2003 he has been Professor of Composition at the University of Aberdeen. Mealor was catapulted to international stardom in 2011 when 2.5 billion heard his motet Ubi Caritas, performed at the Royal Wedding Ceremony of His Royal Highness Prince William and Catherine Middleton (now TRH The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge). It since topped the Classical singles charts in the USA, UK, Australia, France and New Zealand.

In July 2011, Mealor signed to Decca Records and signed a publishing deal with Novello & Co. His first album for Decca, A Tender Light - a collection of sacred anthems recorded by Tenebrae and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - spent six weeks at No 1 of the Specialist Classical Charts. He is currently preparing his second album for Decca and has contributed new works to a number of other Decca albums, including his song In My Dreams for X factor star Jonjo Kerr and The Military Wives Choir, which entered the pop charts at number one, knocking Bruce Springsteen off the top spot; De Profundis for the St Petersburg Chamber Choir on the album Tranquillity, and the first ever musical setting of St Francis' prayer, You Are The Holy Lord God for Friar Alessandro's debut album.

Mealor wrote a number of works for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and has recently completed his first symphony Passiontide – a large work for soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra – which received its premiere at the composer’s fortieth birthday concert in November 2015, and is currently working on a number of pieces for chorus and orchestra. He has just finished filming a programme on the music of Benjamin Britten and appeared in the BBC 2 programme, The Choir, as well as making his Carnegie Hall debut with a sell-out performance of his Stabat Mater with the DCINY chorus and orchestra conducted by James Jordan.

Mealor is the first President of ‘Ty Cerdd’ – Wales’s National Centre for music making and Vice-President of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and the North Wales International Music Festival. He is composer in residence with Canada’s top professional choir, Pro Coro, and is the Curator of the JAM on the marsh festival in Kent. He has received many awards and honours for his music including Honorary Fellowships from Bangor University (2013) and Glyndwr University (2012) in Wrexham, and the Glanville Jones Award, from the Welsh Music Guild, for his outstanding contribution to music in Wales (2013). He was appointed a Free Burgess of The City of Aberdeen in 2012 by The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, and is President and Patron of many Welsh and Scottish organisations.
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