Paul Barker’s compositions include orchestral works, choral works, vocal music, chamber music, percussion music, operas, music theatre, dance theatre and theatre productions. Thirteen chamber operas – many of them recorded and televised – have been performed at major international festivals in the UK and Mexico. The most recent, El Gallo, an opera without text for six actors and two string quartets has received over 50 performances and been televised in Mexico. It will begin a European tour in 2010, including the Brighton Festival, Hamburg and Brussels. Orchestral works include a Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, commissioned by the London Mozart Players and premiered by Tasmin Little. An early orchestral work was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize. His clarinet quintet, In Memoriam, was commissioned by the Brodsky Quartet and Joan Lluna in 2004 and has to date received many international performances in Spain, Holland, Serbia, Ireland, London etc, and received outstanding reviews. In common with much of his recent music, the element of performance, sometimes theatrical, plays a prominent role. He has received many commissions for dance scores notably at the Edinburgh Festival and worked on over 50 theatrical productions internationally.
There are two CD’s available of his music: Turquoise Swans (Sargasso 2000) containing compositions for voice and piano, recorded by the renowned soprano Sarah Leonard, accompanied by the composer, and Entre Palabras (Quindecim 2005) which contains premiere recordings of Songs Between Words and his operaThe Pillow Song.
He was born in Cambridge, England and was a boy chorister at Jesus College, later graduating as pianist and composer from the Guildhall School of Music, obtaining a Masters degree from Durham University and a Doctorate from Hertfordshire University, UK. Awards include a Countess of Munster Trust Scholarship, Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust Scholarship, Arts and Humanities Research Award, the 2005 McElwee Family Fellowship along with many commissions from Arts Council, England and internationally.
He was founder and Artistic Director of Optemus (2003); Musical Director of Proteus Theatre, Spirals Theatre (1993-8) and European Youth Theatre (1994-98); Composer in Association with London Mozart Players (1994-6); Artistic Director Live Culture (ENO, 1995-6); Founder Chair of Opera & Music Theatre Forum (1993-94); Composer in Residence, West Sussex (1990-1994): Artistic Director of Modern Music Theatre Troupe (1985-94). During July 2005, he was resident composer at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, San Francisco. He is currently Professor of Music Theatre at Central School of Speech & Drama, University of London, UK.
His book, Composing for Voice, was published by Routledge in 2003. He has also contributed two articles to the OUP Encyclopedia of Peace, and a chapter in Devised and Collaborative for Theatre (Crowood Press, 2003). He regularly presents papers at university conferences in the UK and abroad.
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