Paul Alan Barker has worked in contemporary dance, theatre, musicals, opera, the concert hall and public spaces as composer, pianist, conductor, stage director and author. His compositions have been recorded and performed at major international festivals. His works have been awarded international prizes and received critical acclaim. They include 13 operas, orchestral and concert music, vocal and choral music, dance scores, 40+ professional theatre productions and installations which explore digital media and live performance.
He studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and is a recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Prize for composition. His work typically involves theatre and music, for example:
- QIQI, a 45-minute work for orchestra, choir, 5 actors and a dancer, designed for the young of all ages. Premiered Mexico February 2020 by Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, February and Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes.
- El Gallo, an opera for 6 actors and 2 string quartets without text (2009), has been performed over 100 times internationally by Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes, awarded several prizes and has been recorded, televised and filmed.
- In Memoriam: for those who fall in time of war(2009), his chamber-music-theatre work for clarinettist Joan Lluna and the Brodsky String Quartet, has been performed in nine countries, televised and received acclaimed reviews.
Other commissions include works for: Lourdez Ambriz, Tamsin Little, Lontano, Tambuco; London Mozart Players, London Festival Orchestra; Camden Festival, Tête à Tête Festival, Swaledale Festival, Festival de Musica en Escena, Festival del Centro Historico de Mexico, Nettlefold Festival, Spitalfields Market Opera, London International Opera Festival, Nottingham Festival; Casa del Teatro, Brandenburg State Theatre, Berlin, Proteus Theatre, West Sussex Youth Theatre, European Youth Theatre, Spiral Theatre; Dancers Anonymous; Cantamus Girls Choir, COMA Singers; Museo Amparo, Mexico.
He has been Artistic Director of two touring companies: Modern Music Theatre Troupe in the UK and OpTeMús in Mexico. His educational experience extends from infants to senior citizens, across schools and colleges, including workshops for and with established ensembles and companies (Opera North, ENO, Spirals European Theatre etc.) and major festivals.
He currently leads a post-graduate course for performers and creators (MA Music Theatre) at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London as Professor of Music Theatre. He was First Chair of Opera and Music Theatre Forum at its inception in the 1990s.
Three CD’s of his music are available as well as several books and journal articles. His book, Composing for Voice, co-written with artistic partner and wife Maria Huesca, was published by Routledge in 2004 and an enlarged second edition was published in 2018.