Paul Patterson

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This article is about the British composer. For the American neuroscientist, see Paul Patterson (neuroscientist). For the Australian rules footballer, see Paul Patterson (footballer). For the American politician, see Paul L. Patterson. For the western author, see Paul Patterson (author).

Paul Patterson (born 15 June 1947) is a British composer and Manson Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music.[1]

Patterson studied trombone and composition at the Royal Academy of Music. He returned there to become Head of Composition and Contemporary Music until 1997, when he became Manson Professor of Composition. In his time at the Academy, it is fair to say that Patterson has almost single-handedly been responsible for the creation of the Contemporary Music Department. A regular guest on composition competition panels both in the UK and further afield, his devotion to new music, along with his desire to introduce the music of contemporary masters to students (in both composition and performance fields), has resulted in the creation of annual festivals devoted to a single composer at the Academy.

He has worked with South East Arts, the University of Warwick, the London Sinfonietta and is currently Composer-in-Residence with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and celebrated his tenth year with them in 2007.

Patterson is an important figure in the choral field and his enthusiasm for music both challenging and enjoyable to performers and audiences has produced a number of important large-scale choral works, most notably the Mass of the Sea (1983), Stabat Mater (1986), Te Deum (1988) the Millennium Mass (2000).

His works are performed regularly by leading performers in the United Kingdom and abroad, most popular among which are the orchestral setting of Roald Dahl's Little Red Riding Hood and the Violin Concerto.

Patterson was awarded the John Armitage Memorial Commission for 2005. For this, he composed The Fifth Continent, a work for solo counter tenor, choir, brass quintet and organ, which received its premiere in Southwark Cathedral in March 2005. Other awards include the PRS/RPS Leslie Boosey Award.

Recent commissions include an Oboe Concerto (Phoenix Concerto) for the International Double Reed Society Conference in Birmingham and a Viola Concerto for the Hampstead & Highgate Festival, both of which received their premieres during the latter part of 2009.

Recent CD releases have included The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood, narrated by the TV presenter Chris Jarvis, with the London Philharmonic under David Parry, and a recording of the Cello Concerto with Raphael Wallfisch and the South West German Chamber Orchestra (Pforzheim). Future CD releases include his Phoenix Concerto with Emily Pailthorpe and the English Chamber Orchestra.

His Opus 50 Luslawice Variations for solo violin, was included on Tasmin Little's free to download CD of recordings as part of her Three Step Challenge.[2]

Selected works[edit]


  • Sonors, Op.17 (1973)
  • Fusions, Op.23 (1974), for orchestra & electronics
  • Circular Ruins, Op.31 (1975)
  • Clarinet Concerto, Op.34 (1976), for clarinet & string orchestra
  • Concerto for Orchestra, Op.45 (1981)
  • Sinfonia, Op.46 (1982), for string orchestra
  • Upside-Down-Under Variations, Op.56 (1985)
  • Violin Concerto, Op.72 (1992), for violin & string orchestra
  • Four Rustic Sketches, Op.80 (1997)
  • The City Within, Op.87 (2000)
  • Jubilee Dances, Op.89 (2002)
  • Cello Concerto, Op.90 (2002), for cello & string orchestra
  • Orchestra on Parade, Op.94 (2004)
  • Allusions, Op.99 (2007), for two violins & string orchestra
  • Viola Concerto, Op. 101 (2008–09), for viola & string orchestra
  • Phoenix Concerto, Op. 102 (2009), for oboe & string orchestra
  • Arabesque (2009)


  • Voices of Sleep, Op.40 (1979), for S.A.T.B. choir & orchestra
  • Mass of the Sea, Op.47 (1983), for soprano & bass soli, S.A.T.B. choir & orchestra
  • Missa Brevis, Op.54 (1985), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Hell's Angels, Op.81 (1998), for soprano solo, S.A.T.B. choir, four percussion & string quartet
  • Gloria, Op.83 (1999), for soprano & tenor soli, S.A.T.B. choir & orchestra
  • Millenium Mass, Op.85 (1999), for soprano solo, S.A.T.B. choir, organ & chamber orchestra
  • The Fifth Continent, Op.96 (2005), for counter-tenor/mezzo-soprano solo, S.A.T.B. choir, brass quintet & organ


  • Deviations, Op.88 (2001), for string octet
  • Tate Modern Mobiles, Op.91 (2003), for ensemble
  • Elegiac Blues, Op.97 (2005), for violin/cello & piano
  • Aguecheek's Antics, Op.98 (2005), for violin & piano

Solo Instrumental[edit]

  • Spiders, Op.48 (1983), for harp
  • Luslawice Variations, Op.50 (1984), for violin
  • Tides of Mananan, Op.64 (1988), for viola
  • A Tunnel of Time, Op.66 (1989), for piano
  • Soliloquy, Op.79 (1995), for clarinet
  • Bugs, Op.93 (2003), for harp
  • Tsunami, Op.95 (2005), for organ
  • Brumba, Op.100 (2007), for organ


  1. ^ "Biography". Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  2. ^ Lewis Mitchell. "Orchestra of the Swan - Paul Patterson". Orchestra of the Swan. Retrieved 5 August 2009. [dead link]

External links[edit]