Paul Patterson
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1947-06-15
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Paul Patterson

Paul Patterson Biography (BBC)

Paul Patterson has been a widely respected figure on the British compositional scene since the mid-1960s. His studies with Richard Stoker, Richard Rodney Bennett and Elisabeth Lutyens instilled in him a lifelong concern with compositional craftsmanship, while his subsequent friendships with Witold Lutoslawski and Krzysztof Penderecki resulted in a confident adoption of his Polish colleagues' extended instrumental techniques throughout the 1970s.

From the 1980s onwards he has espoused a more approachable mode of address without ever compromising his bold, vividly colourful sound-world. This, alongside his work as a teacher, has done much to foster Patterson's reputation as one of this country's more broad-minded and undogmatic composers.

Establishing himself with the outrageous entertainment Rebecca (1965), written while he was still a student at the Royal Academy of Music, he consolidated a burgeoning reputation with the Comedy for Five Winds (1972) and Timepiece (1973); the latter work was written for the King's Singers who, by making it one of their party-pieces, turned it into Patterson's most widely travelled work, with well over 1,000 performances to date.

Since then, he has built an impressively diverse corpus of works ranging from chamber and orchestral music to choral and vocal works, alongside educational works of various shapes and sizes. Among his orchestral works, the Concerto for Orchestra (1981) and the Violin Concerto (1992) stand out, alongside the coruscating seascape White Shadows on the Dark Horizon (1988) and the bracing Sinfonia for Strings (1982).

Out of a voluminous series of chamber and instrumental works, a muscular String Quartet (1986) is notable, together with the sparkling Cracowian Counterpoints for 14 players (1977), the brass quintet Mean Time (1985), the multi-faceted Luslawice Variations for solo violin (1984) and the witty Westerly Winds for wind quintet (1998). Choral music has also played a constant role in Patterson's output, from the volcanic Kyrie for chorus and piano (1972) and the phantasmagoric Voices of Sleep (1979) to more accessibly extrovert works such as the Magnificat (1993) and the Millennium Mass (1999).

However, his biggest success to date is the Roald Dahl-based Little Red Riding Hood for narrators and orchestra (1992), which has now been performed all over the world and translated into seven languages since its BBC-broadcast premiere by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst. In 2004, the Basel Symphony Orchestra unveiled a sequel, The Three Little Pigs, which received its UK premiere in May 2005, again with the London Philharmonic.

Profile © Paul Pellay

Paul Patterson Biography (Wikipedia)

Paul Patterson (born 15 June 1947) is a British composer and Manson Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music.

Patterson studied trombone and composition at the Royal Academy of Music. He returned there to become Head of Composition and Contemporary Music until 1997, when he became Manson Professor of Composition. In his time at the Academy, it is fair to say that Patterson has almost single-handedly been responsible for the creation of the Contemporary Music Department. A regular guest on composition competition panels both in the UK and further afield, his devotion to new music, along with his desire to introduce the music of contemporary masters to students (in both composition and performance fields), has resulted in the creation of annual festivals devoted to a single composer at the Academy.

He has worked with South East Arts, the University of Warwick, the London Sinfonietta and is currently Composer-in-Residence with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and celebrated his tenth year with them in 2007.

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Paul Patterson Tracks

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Paul Patterson
Three Little Pigs
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Three Little Pigs
Paul Patterson
Little Red Riding Hood
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Little Red Riding Hood
Paul Patterson
The Fifth Continent
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The Fifth Continent
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