Born in 1947, Paul Patterson entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1964 initially as a trombone player before turning to composition. A pupil of Richard Stoker, Elisabeth Lutyens and Richard Rodney Bennett, his career in the British compositional scene burgeoned rapidly. He has retained strong links with the Royal Academy ever since, first as its Head of Composition and Contemporary Music (1987-97) and currently as the Manson Professor of Composition. Amidst a large and varied output, his contribution to the choral repertoire stands out, and his flair in producing works which are both challenging and accessible for both performers and listeners has resulted in a series of highly regarded large-scale choral works which have spread his name all over the world, notably the Mass of the Sea (1983), Stabat Mater (1986), Te Deum (1988), Magnificat (1993), and more recently Hell's Angels (1998) and the Millennium Mass (2000).
Throughout his career, his reputation worldwide has been held aloft by a number of works which have traveled around the globe. Time Piece (1972), written for the King's Singers, is one such. Other widely-traveled works include Cracowian Counterpoints (1977), which was toured worldwide by the London Sinfonietta, his Violin Concerto (1992), with performances in the U.S.A., France, Turkey and Venezuela, and the phenomenally successful Little Red Riding Hood (1992), which has blazed a trail of performances since its premiere which shows no sign of abating. In 1997, in celebration of his 50th birthday, he was the featured composer on BBC Radio 3's long-running series Composer of the Week. He has held many distinguished positions, most notably Composer-in-Residence for South East Arts in Canterbury during the late 1970s, Artistic Director of the Exeter Festival (1991-97), and currently Composer-in-Residence of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Amidst the many honours bestowed upon him are the Medal of Honour from the Polish Ministry of Culture for his tireless efforts on behalf of Polish music in Britain (1987), and, in 1996, the Leslie Boosey Award, conferred upon him by the Performing Rights Society and the Royal Philharmonic Society for outstanding services to contemporary music.
by Dr. Paul Pellay