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Music at QMUL

Director of Music

Dr Paul Edlin was appointed Director of Music at Queen Mary University of London in 2013.

As Director of Music, Paul oversees the smooth running and advancement of music making and activities at the University, and he directs its principal ensembles. Paul is the primary point of contact for anyone wishing to learn more about Music Scholarships, participatory activities or events.

Paul studied at the Royal College of Music, receiving a Leverhulme Studentship for further postgraduate study at the RCM. He took his doctorate at the University of Sussex.

Paul's compositions have received broadcasts on BBC 2, BBC Radio 3, as well as on Radio and Television abroad and have been performed both nationally and abroad by many leading artists, ensembles and orchestras. He has won many composition prizes including the IX Premio lnternazionale Ancona. He has a particular interest in opera, and his first opera, The Fisherman, was premiered to wide critical acclaim in a production for the London International Opera Festival. Opera Magazine described Paul as 'our latest operatic prodigy'. In 2013 he completed an operatic monodrama, Frida, a setting of the diaries of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.


Paul is Artistic Director of Deal Festival of Music and the Arts, which presents world-class artists and runs a significant education programme in East Kent. He was a founder member of the Artistic Group of Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival, of which he was Artistic Director from 2007 to 2012, a period in which the Festival reached unprecedented heights inviting many of the world's leading composers (Krzysztof Penderecki, Arvo Pärt, Sir John Tavener and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies), performers and ensembles (Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, Choir of King's College Cambridge and Philharmonia Orchestra). Many performances were broadcast by BBC Radio 3. He was Director of the International Composer Pyramid from 2009 to 2013.

Paul has thirty years' experience working in the university sector and as a former Professor of Music has taught all levels from first year undergraduates to PhDs. In 2011 he was elected President of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, the UK's leading organisation for professional musicians.

As a conductor, Paul has directed many premieres of new works as well as UK premieres of such pieces as Beat Furrer's Ensemble II and Ernst Krenek's Sestina. In 2010 he conducted the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Malta, allowing him an opportunity to explore the more romantic repertoire of Puccini and Verdi. As a trumpeter, he particularly enjoys the repertoire of Bach, Handel and Purcell and has played in many performances of works such as the B Minor Mass, Christmas Oratorio, etc. He also loves jazz and plays this as much as time allows.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, he has served on the boards of several music and music education organisations and charities, including Cantoris Charitable Trust, which supports Canterbury Cathedral choristers. He is Chair of the Board of Ora, the UK's brand new professional choir directed by Suzi Digby OBE. Paul has two musical sons. Peter, an artist, plays lead guitar in the progressive jazz-rock group The Boot Lagoon, while Timothy, a bass-baritone, is currently still studying music.

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