25 November 1975 |
St Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales
|Education||University of York, Royal Danish Academy of Music|
|Occupation||Composer and teacher|
Paul Mealor FRSA (born 25 November 1975) is a Welsh composer. A large proportion of his output is for chorus, both a cappella and accompanied. He came to wider notice when his motet Ubi Caritas et Amor was performed at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011. He later composed the song "Wherever You Are", which became the 2011 Christmas number one in the UK Singles Chart.
Born in St Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales, Mealor studied composition privately with William Mathias and John Pickard and then read music at the University of York (1994–2002). He studied composition at York with Nicola LeFanu, and in Copenhagen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Hans Abrahamsen (1998–99).
Since 2003, he has been teaching at the University of Aberdeen, where he is currently Professor of Composition, and has held visiting professorships in composition at institutions in Scandinavia and the United States. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and since 2011 has been published by Novello. Also in 2011, he signed to Decca Records. His first album for Decca, A Tender Light – a collection of sacred choral anthems – spent six weeks at No 1 in the Classical charts.
Mealor's motet, a setting of Ubi Caritas et Amor, was commissioned by Prince William for his marriage to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011, when it was sung by the Choirs of Westminster Abbey and Her Majesty's Chapel Royal conducted by James O'Donnell. Later that year, Mealor was commissioned to write the music for Wherever You Are, a song setting a text compiled from letters written to British Army military personnel deployed on active service in the Afghanistan War by their wives or partners, as part of the BBC Two television series The Choir: Military Wives. The single, released on 19 December 2011, became the 2011 Christmas number one in the UK Singles Chart and raised money for military charities. In the 2012 Classic FM Hall of Fame, he was voted the 'nation's favourite living composer' and succeeded in achieving the highest placing of any new entry in the history of the Hall of Fame with Wherever You Are charting at No 5.
In 2013 Mealor composed the song "With a friend like you" for the final of the second season of the BBC 2 series "The Choir: Sing while you work". All three choirs of the final presented the song at Ely Cathedral. The P&O choir was declared winner.
In April 2014, Mealor's follow up album to "A Tender Light" was released titled "I Saw Eternity". "I Saw Eternity" is currently number twenty-eight in the Classical charts and has been there for five weeks.
- Symphony No 1: Passiontide (soprano and baritone soloists, chorus and orchestra, 2015. Duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes). Libretto by Peter Davidson. Commissioned and premiered by Jillian Bain Christie (soprano), Sean McCarther (Baritone), the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, conducted by James Jordan on 19 November 2015 at St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen.
- Celtic Prayers (children's choir, chorus & orchestra, 2014). Libretto by Grahame Davies. Commissioned by the BBC and first performed by the BBC National Chorus and Orchestra of Wales at St David's Hall Cardiff on 1 March 2014.
- The Farthest Shore (chorus, boys choir, brass & organ, 2013). Libretto by Ben Kaye. Commissioned by the John Armitage Memorial and first performed in St David's Cathedral on 28 May 2013.
- Crucifixus (baritone, chorus and optional accompaniment, 2012).
- Wherever You Are (chorus, 2011).
- Ubi Caritas et Amor (chorus, 2011). A revised setting of Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal.
- Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal (4 madrigals)(chorus, 2010). Commissioned by the John Armitage Memorial Trust and first performed by the combined choirs of St Salvator's (St Andrews) Chapel Choir, University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir and Edinburgh University Chamber Choir, conducted by Michael Bawtree in Holy Trinity Church, St Andrews, October 2010.
- She Walks in Beauty (chorus, 2010). Text by Lord Byron, written for Octavoce.
- Sanctuary Haunts (chorus, 2009). Commissioned by University of Aberdeen and first performed by Polyphony (choir) and Stephen Layton on 5 February 2010.
- Stabat Mater (chorus & piano, 2009). Revised version (chorus, harp and string orchestra, 2010) premiered by the St Andrews Chorus and Heisenberg Ensemble, conducted by Michael Downes, St Andrews, November 2010.
- Between Eternity and Time (soprano & piano, 2008). Three Settings of Emily Dickinson commissioned by Irene Drummond and Alasdair Beatson and first performed by them at King's College Chapel, Aberdeen on 6 November 2008.
- Let Fall the Windows of Mine Eyes (chorus, 2008). Commissioned by the Voices of Shakespeare Festival (Brecon) and first performed by Con Anima on 12 July 2008 at the Living Willow Theatre, Brecon.
- The Shadows of Dreams (soprano, cello & piano, 2007). First performed by Sarah Leonard (soprano), Ian Mitchell (Clarinet) and Huw Watkins (Piano), Elphinstone Hall, Aberdeen, 20 April 2008.
- Aurora Lucis Rutilat (organ, 2006). Composed for Roger Williams (organist) and first performed by him at King's College, Cambridge, February 2007
- Liturgy of Fire (symphonic wind ensemble, 2006). Commissioned and first performed by the New York University Wind Ensemble conducted by Christian Wilhjelm at the Frederick Loewe Theatre, New York on 6 December 2006.
- De Profundis (organ, 2005). Commissioned by George Chittenden and first performed by him at St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, 6 August 2005.
- Borderlands (piano trio, 2004). First performed by the Chagall Trio at the University of Manchester.
- And Profoundest Midnight Shroud The Serene Lights of Heaven (chorus, 2002). Text by Rilke and Shelley. Commissioned by and first performed by York Vocal Index, directed by John Potter, at the Sir Jack Lyons Hall, York, May 2002.
- Elegy for a Play of Shadows (2001). Version 1 (cor anglais and harp) first performed by Eamonn O'Dwyer at Sir Jack Lyons Hall, York. Version 2 (cor anglais and five instruments) first performed by the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Nicholas Cleobury in Canterbury, November 2001.
- Hidden Arias (2001) (oboe). First performed by Melinda Maxwell at Dartington Hall, August 2001.
- Rising of The Sixfold Sun (orchestra, 2000). First performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Thomas Dausgaard, St David's Hall, Cardiff, February 2000.
- Madrigali: Fire & Roses (Divine Art DDA 25094) Con Anima Chamber Choir directed by Paul Mealor. Includes Mealor's Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal and Morten Lauridsen's Madrigali and Chanson Éloignée.
- Mealor: Stabat Mater (Campion Cameo 2083) – Irene Drummond (soprano); Drew Tulloch (piano) Con Anima Chamber Choir/Paul Mealor. Includes Stabat Mater; Let Fall the Windows of Mine Eyes; Between Eternity and Time; Beata es, Virgo Maria; Lux Benigna; Ave.
- Borderlands (Campion Cameo 2053) – Chagall Trio. Includes Mealor's Borderlands.
- Christmas Favourites from Aberdeen (KCL 2009) – Chapel Choir of King's College, Aberdeen/ Roger Williams (organist). Includes Mealor's Locus Iste.
- A Tender Light (Decca Classics 4764814) – Tenebrae and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nigel Short. Includes Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal, She Walks in Beauty, O Vos Omnes, Stabat Mater, Salvator Mundi, Ubi Caritas.
- I Saw Eternity (Decca Classics 4810494) – Tenebrae and the Aurora Orchestra conducted by Nigel Short. Includes Peace, I Saw Eternity and Crucifixus.
- "Paul Mealor". Chester Music & Novello & Co. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Dr Paul Mealor, Reader in Composition". University of Aberdeen. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- "Composer's delight at inclusion of his music service". The Herald (Scotland). 29 April 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- "Ubi Caritas". 2011 Royal Wedding. The Royal Channel (official YouTube Channel for the British Monarchy ). Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- Melissa Lesnie (29 April 2011). "New British compositions a gift for the Royal Wedding". Limelight Magazine. Australian Broadcasting Company / Haymarket Media. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- "Ubi Caritas et Amor". Univ. of York Music Press. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- "The Choir III: Military Wives". Gareth Malone official website. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "Military Wives Choir captures Christmas number one". BBC. 25 December 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- "Wherever You Are". Classic fm. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- "BBC Singers at St David's Cathedral Festival". BBC, London. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- "New Mealor Premiere by Polyphony and Stephen Layton". University of Aberdeen. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Irene Drummond, Alasdair Beatson". 'Sound' Festival. Retrieved 31 May 2013.