Born in St Asaph, North Wales in 1975, Paul Mealor studied composition privately as a boy with William Mathias and later with John Pickard, and at the University of York (BA, 1997, PhD, 2002) and in Copenhagen with Hans Abrahamsen and Per Nørgård. His music has been commissioned and performed at many festivals around the world by such leading ensembles as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Britten Sinfonia, and has been broadcast on BBC Radio Two, Three, Four, Japanese, Swedish and Danish Radios and Classic FM. Since January 2003 he has taught at the Music Department at the University of Aberdeen where he is Professor of Composition.
Mealor composes primarily for the voice and has written a number of cycles, songs and choral works for many leading singers and choirs in the UK and USA. A CD of his sacred choral music recorded by Con Anima Chamber Choir and entitled, Mealor: Stabat Mater was released on the Campion Cameo Label in November 2009 to critical acclaim. Mealor’s recent work, Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal has been recorded on the Metier Label and topped the Classical Album charts in May 2011.
Mealor was catapulted to international stardom in April 2011, when 2.5 billion people (the largest audience in broadcasting history) heard his Motet, Ubi caritas performed by the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace conducted by James O’Donnell at the Royal Wedding Ceremony of His Royal Highness Prince William and Catherine Middleton (now TRH The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge) at Westminster Abbey. It since topped the Classical singles charts in the USA, UK, Australia, France and New Zealand.
In July 2011 Mealor signed to Decca Records – one of only a handful of composers to have been taken on by a major record label – and recorded his first album, ‘A Tender Light’ with Tenebrae Choir and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Nigel Short, in early July for release in November 2011. This album became number on in the Classical Specialist Charts for five weeks. Also in November 2011 he appeared on Gareth Malone’s new BBC Two series, The Choir as guest composer, and wrote a new work for the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance 2011, which was premiered at The Royal Albert Hall in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen. Subsequently, this composition sung by the Military Wives became the number one in the Pop Charts on Christmas 2011.
Paul Mealor’s music is published by Novello & Co from November 1, 2011