Paul Barker was born in Cambridge, England. He 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. He has composed music for orchestra, soloists, chamber music, choral music, for contemporary dance, and principally for opera and music theatre.
He has received several awards and scholarships including Royal Philharmonic Society Prize, Countess of Munster Trust Scholarship, Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust Scholarship, Arts and Humanities Research Award, 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. In September 2005 he became Senior Lecturer in Music Theatre at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London. His output includes 12 operas, more than 40 stage works, and several music theatre works, several of which have been televised and recorded internationally. His works have been presented at various festivals including Sonorities (Belfast), the Cervantino Festival, Edinburgh Festival, London International Opera Festival, Camden Festival, Festival Internacional de Música de la UNAM, Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enríquez, Festival Internacional Cervantino, Festival Música y Escena, Festival de México en el Centro Histórico, and many more in the UK, Europe and the USA. In 2000 Sargasso produced a CD -Turquoise Swans - of his music for voice and piano, recorded by the renowned soprano Sarah Leonard, accompanied by the composer. A second CD - Entre Palabras [Between Words] - was issued on the Quindecim label (QP 134) in May 2005, supported by FONCA (Mexico) and the Anglo-Mexican Foundation. It contains premiere recordings of Songs Between Words and The Pillow Song. In 2004 he received a commission from the Arts Council of England to compose a clarinet quintet, In Memoriam: for those who fall in the time of war, which received superlative reviews after performances in the UK, Mexico and Spain and continues to be toured in Europe. It is performed staged by the musicians who play from memory. In 2003 his book, Composing for Voice, was published by Routledge. He is currently working on a second, Music and Theatre.
Projects by Paul at The Facility:
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