Paul Cardall

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Paul Cardall
Paul Cardall.jpg
Cardall in 2016
Background information
Birth name Paul Layton Cardall
Born (1973-04-24) April 24, 1973 (age 44)
Genres New Age, Classical, Christian
Occupation(s) Pianist, Film Composer, Music Producer, Independent Record Label Founder
Instruments Piano
Years active 1996–present
Labels Stone Angel Music

Paul Layton Cardall (born April 24, 1973) is an American pianist known for his original compositions and arrangements of various hymns. His music is frequently categorized as New Age, Classical, and Religious. Cardall has had three of his works make it to number one on billboard charts.[1]

Cardall's soothing, melodic style is born out of his compassion to help others endure hardship and connect to the strength of the soul. The passion he exudes during his performances is rooted in personal experience because the pianist has endured difficult challenges. He was born with essentially half a functioning heart, which required immediate surgery when Cardall was less than a day old. His life-threatening congenital heart disease and a series of difficult surgeries throughout his life, including a heart transplant, has given Cardall wisdom, depth and understanding that only music could express to heal hearts and minds of people all over the world.[2]

Based in Salt Lake City, Paul has built a loyal – and ever growing – audience around the world through several social media channels. From Cairo to Chicago, Sydney to Madrid, Paul's fans live in more than 100 nations. He adds 200 new listeners per day, reaches more than 600,000 Facebook users per week and garners more than 15 million subscribers to his Pandora Radio station.[2]

In addition to his recording career, Paul founded Stone Angel Music in 1999, which owns a catalogue of recordings by other similar artists. He launched cellist Steven Sharp Nelson's (The Piano Guys) recording career releasing three recordings which debuted on Billboard classical charts. As part of Stone Angel Music, Paul built one of Salt Lake City's premier recording studios.[2]

In 2011, Utah State Board of Regents awarded Paul with an honorary doctorate because of his community service. As an executive board member of the Saving tiny Hearts Society 501(c)3, Paul actively promotes congenital heart disease medical research. Shortly after receiving a heart transplant in 2009, Paul established an endowment at Salt Lake Community College that awards annual scholarships for students affected by congenital heart disease. In addition to volunteer service related to healing hearts, Paul is an ordained lay-minister in his Christian faith and speaks and performs regularly to non-denominational congregations world-wide.[2]

Early life[edit]

Cardall was born April 24, 1973. He was diagnosed with congenital heart disease shortly after he was born. At birth, doctors did not believe Cardall would live more than a day. His cardiologist performed a temporary corrective surgery that allowed Cardall's life to continue, but doctors still weren’t sure how long he would live. Cardall's parents initially didn’t know what to expect of their son. Despite Cardall's lack of oxygenated blood, his father, Duane, said they never discouraged their son from being active. "We chose to not be overly protective or restrictive," Duane said. "We felt that with the defect that he had, the best thing for us to do would be to just let him pace himself. Our philosophy was to let him figure out what his own limits were instead of us telling him what they were."[3]

Cardall first played the piano when he was 8 years old. His early experience, however, did not demonstrate his true potential. "Paul didn’t have a very good experience taking piano," Duane said. "He lasted about six months as an 8 or 9-year-old. His piano teacher just said it wasn’t worth her time or our money to have him pursue that. So he no longer played."[3]

Despite two more heart surgeries when he was 13 and 14, the boyish-faced and soft-spoken Cardall became an accomplished pianist, showing a gift for harmony and precision. After a friend died at age 17, Cardall began writing music to express his emotions.[4]

In high school, Cardall became serious about composing and performing music. With the encouragement of another talented friend, he wrote a piano concerto he described as "Russian polka meets a Nintendo game soundtrack" and performed the piece at his high school's annual Concerto Night. "I had never felt so nervous and so alive. I knew I wanted more of this," Cardall said.[3]

He served a two-year Mormon mission in San Bernardino, California from 1992-1994. Afterwards, Cardall was recruited by Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). He served as the Fine Arts President and Public Relations Vice-President at SLCC while enjoying a full-ride leadership scholarship there. During the summer season he worked as a youth counselor for the Especially for Youth camps at Brigham Young University.[4]

While attending college, Cardall played piano for tips at a Nordstrom department store and local restaurants. He recorded his first album, "Sign of Affection," in 1994. Richard Paul Evans, author of the best-seller The Christmas Box, heard the album and asked Cardall to create a musical adaptation of his story.[4] Cardall was able to travel to national book singings with Evans during the release of the CD and the book, he was able to sell tens of thousands of copies of his album and developed a supportive fan base.[5]

In 1997, Cardall married student nurse Lynnette Stewart. He said she knew enough about severe health problems to realize the gravity of her decision to marry a man with congenital heart disease.[6]

While Cardall continued to compose music part-time, he worked at Richard Paul Evan's book distribution company Evans Book as the music executive.[4] He worked with Disney, BMG, and others, and soon became interested in making piano performance his career.[5] Cardall knew that one day he would likely need a heart transplant.[4]

Cardall's early compositions are influenced by Mozart, pianists David Lanz, George Winston, and Yanni.[7]


In early 1999 Cardall founded Stone Angel Music, an independent record label intended to produce, market, and distribute Cardall's recordings.

That same year, Cardall signed a multi-album deal with Narada, an affiliate of Virgin Records.[8] Cardall said he signed with Narada because he had already exhausted all of his distribution routes for his album "The Christmas Box" inspired by Richard Paul Evans #1 NY Times best seller, which was originally released independently in 1997.[9] Narada expanded upon the distribution channels Cardall had begun with author Ricahrd Paul Evans. "The Christmas Box" album debuted #22 on Billboard's New Age Chart.[10] The same year, Cardall also debuted a new album entitled The Looking Glass. In December 1999 both records were listed on Billboard's Top 25 New Age Charts.[11] During his association with The Christmas Box, families of victims in the Oklahoma City bombing requested the music be played during the memorial ceremonies as families placed flowers on the empty chairs representing their lost loved ones.

Cardall was watching the CNN coverage of the Oklahoma City Federal Building's memorial dedication services when he heard his music from The Christmas Box being played as families mourned the loss of their loved ones killed in the terrorist attack. This event inspired Cardall to release Miracles: A Journey of Hope and Healing.[12]

In September 2005 Cardall released a new CD called Primary Worship, inspired by the innocence and spiritual development of childhood. The album debuted at #12 on the Billboard Magazine Top 25 New Age Chart, spending 11 weeks on that chart.[13]

Cardall released a collection of hymns arranged for piano in 2008 titled, "The Hymns Collection" which debuted No. 4 on the Billboard New Age charts.[14]

That same year, Cardall released a two-disc titled Living for Eden. He considers this CD his most personal. For one thing, Eden is the name of his daughter. For another, music is his Eden-place; the way he finds his own peace and comfort.[15]

In 2009, when Cardall's health was at its lowest, he recorded a CD called Sacred Piano, putting together some of the most meaningful things he had done up to that point. The album debuted #5 on Billbaord's New Age Chart.[16]

In 2011, Cardall's album "New Life" notably debuted as the number one Billboard New Age album in February 2011.[17] "New Life" held its high rank in the top 5 albums for more than 30 weeks.[18]

In 2013 the film Ephraim's Rescue was released with the music composed by Cardall.[19]

In 2015 Cardall's album "40 Hymns for Forty Days" (2015), also debuted as the number one Billboard New Age album in March 2014.[20] "40 Hymns for Forty Days" held its high rank in the top 10 albums for more than 50 weeks.[21]

A New Creation was released September 16, 2016 by Stone Angel Music. The album debuted #1 on Billboard's New Age Album Chart, #2 Classical Album Chart, #12 Christian Album Chart, #34 overall Indepdent albums, and #7 Heatseekers Chart.[22] The album features soloists Nathan Pacheco (Disney Pearl Records; Yanni Voices tour) and Patrice Tipoki (Fantine, Les Misérables international Broadway tour). The album is distributed by CDBaby, Alliance Entertainment, and Deseret Book Distributors, and is also available on streaming internet radio.[23]

A New Creation, Cardall explores a deeper level of spirituality, introducing lyrics and full orchestration into his catalogue for the first time. "Each song on the album is designed to invoke deep spiritual feelings," Cardall notes. "The album represents a journey from innocence at birth, through the ensuing brokenness of the human condition, culminating in mankind's ability to rise above that broken state to their full potential."[23]

A personal highlight for Cardall was composing the music for "One by One," a song written with Elder David A. Bednar, one of the global, governing apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Cardall is a member. Bednar, who penned the lyrics, has traveled to six continents during his decade of leadership, and the song reflects that appreciation for the unique challenges faced by individuals in each part of the world.[23] This hymn came out of a meeting that Cardall had with Bednar after Cardall had performed at an LDS Church missionary department meeting.[24]

Charitable Activities[edit]

Paul Cardall served as a board member of The Saving tiny Hearts Society from 2010-2016.[25] Cardall said, ″"After receiving a heart transplant I created my own foundation from concert proceeds to help others. My family created an endowment and scholarship at our local Salt Lake Community College for students affected by congenital heart disease. After this was established I was invited by the Saving tiny Hearts Society to host their 5th Gala. After meeting and learning more about this society I was convinced I needed to focus my charitable attention there because they are the most effective privately ran organization that is researching solutions and solving key problems within the CHD medical community. They truly are saving tiny hearts."[25]

The Paul & Kristina Cardall Scholarship was established with the help from Salt Lake Community College (SLCC), for students with congenital heart disease.[26]

Paul Cardall has performed at benefit concerts for individuals like himself, who are fighting for their chance to receive a heart transplant. The beginning of summer 2014, Paul Cardall performed locally in Salt Lake City for a young boy who suffered from heart illness, like Cardall.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Cardall received a degree from Salt Lake Community College in Utah and was later awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his volunteer work in the Salt Lake community.[28]

Cardall married Lynnette Stewart in 1997. They have two children together, Eden and Eliza.[6] The couple filed for divorce on December 3, 2012.[29]

Cardall lived with congenital heart disease for over thirty years. He was born with only a single functioning ventricle or half-heart. In August 2008, with his heart failure, Cardall was listed for a heart transplant. After waiting 385 days, he received a donated heart via transplant on September 9, 2009.[30][31]

Cardall married Kristina Molek on November 2, 2013.[32]

Cardall is an ordained Elder in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[33]

Stone Angel Music[edit]

Stone Angel Music Logo

Stone Angel Music is an independent record label founded by American Pianist Paul Cardall in 1999.[34]

One of the artists signed to the label, Jason Lyle Black, had his album Preludes debut at No. 2 on the Billboard Top New Age Albums Chart in June 2016.[35]

Cellist Steven Sharp Nelson's first album Sacred Cello (2006) with Stone Angel Music was atop the Billboard Charts.[36]

Pianist Jason Lyle Black's "Piano Preludes," which was released May 6, 2016 recently debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Top New Age Albums chart. According to Black, the honor is rare for an artist's first album and a testament to Black's producer, Paul Cardall, and record label, Stone Angel Music.[37]


  1. ^ Broadway World article on Cardall
  2. ^ a b c d "About". 
  3. ^ a b c "Despite challenges, LDS musician continues career of optimism and faith – The Daily Universe". 
  4. ^ a b c d e Tribune, David BurgerThe Salt Lake. "Performing from the heart: After transplant, Utah musician returns to stage". 
  5. ^ a b "Paul Cardall - LDS Musician with a Purpose - Mormon Music". 
  6. ^ a b Moore, Carrie A. (4 April 2009). "Savoring every day: Young family anxiously awaits heart transplant". 
  7. ^ "Paul Cardall '04 (MD)". 
  8. ^ "Paul Cardall". 
  9. ^ "A Penny's Worth / An Interview With Pianist and Composer, Paul Cardall / Thoughts and insights from the minds and experiences of fascinating people.". 
  10. ^ "Paul Cardall - Chart history - Billboard". 
  11. ^ "AllMusic - Record Reviews, Streaming Songs, Genres & Bands". 
  12. ^ "Creations Music Reviews by Christina Lord". 
  13. ^ "Primary Worship - Paul Cardall - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". 
  14. ^ "The Hymns Collection - Paul Cardall - Awards - AllMusic". 
  15. ^ "Paul Cardall - Mormonism, The Mormon Church, Beliefs, & Religion - MormonWiki". 
  16. ^ "Sacred Piano - Paul Cardall - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Deseret News, May 13, 2013
  20. ^ Rappleye, Christine (25 April 2015). "Cardall's '40 Hymns for Forty Days' debuts at No. 1 on Billboard New Age chart". 
  21. ^ "New Age Music: Top New Age Albums Chart - Billboard". 
  22. ^ "Billboard". 
  23. ^ a b c "Pianist Paul Cardall Set to Release His First Classical Album, A New Creation - PRWEB". 
  24. ^ Deseret News, September 14, 2016
  25. ^ a b, Seth Adam Smith Author and Blogger at (27 August 2015). "Would YOU Save a Tiny Heart?". 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Top Billboard pianist to hold benefit concert for boy -". 
  28. ^ "Salt Lake Community College Staff Association Executive Board Minutes" (PDF). March 10, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Utah's Right To Know -". 
  30. ^ Moore, Carrie (June 3, 2009). "Musician awaiting heart transplant performs at Primary Children's telethon". Deseret News. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  31. ^ Moore, Carrie (September 11, 2009). "With a new heart beating in his chest, Paul Cardall beats odds yet again". Deseret News. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  32. ^ Mission, Sister Linda Turley-Hansen, Adriatic North (12 February 2016). "Pianist Paul Cardall visits Adriatic to share music, spread awareness". 
  33. ^ "Hi I'm Paul Cardall". 
  34. ^ "Salt Lake Tribune". 
  35. ^ Cobb, Sydney (2016-05-21). "Pianist Jason Lyle Black's debut 'Piano Preludes' album hits No. 2 on Billboard New Age chart". Retrieved 2016-06-17. 
  36. ^ "#1 Billboard Cellist Steven Sharp Nelson, a Member of The Piano Guys, Will Release "Grace: A Sacred Cello Collection" March 11, 2014 with Former Record Label". 
  37. ^ Cobb, Sydney (21 May 2016). "Pianist Jason Lyle Black's debut 'Piano Preludes' album hits No. 2 on Billboard New Age chart". 

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