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Paul Hillier


Born: February 9, 1949   Country: England  
English baritone Paul Hillier is one of the leading figures, both as a singer and conductor, in the early music movement and now makes his home in the United States, where he has shown increasing interest in new music.

As a boy he was a chorister at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. This position carries with it an opportunity to learn a wide expanse of choral repertoire, to receive a thorough musical and general education at the St. Paul's
Read more Cathedral School, and to make important lifelong contacts. After graduating from school he studied music at London's Guildhall. He returned to St. Paul's Cathedral in 1973 as its vicar-choral for one season. He was also a member of the Queen's Chapel Royal at Windsor Castle. In 1974 he made his solo recital debut at the Purcell Room in London. In the same year he co-founded the Hilliard Ensemble, becoming its music director. The ensemble soon became one of the world's best known early music vocal groups, and was much in demand for performances worldwide, making a number of bestselling and award-winning recordings. The all-male quartet specialized in Renaissance music.

In 1980-81 he taught as a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. After that he began to spend an increasing amount of time in America. He was the Copland Colloquium Fellow at Amherst College in Massachusetts in 1984. He became more interested in New Music and tried to get the Hilliard Ensemble to branch out in that direction. That, and a wish to add female voices and engage in the more theatrical style of performance presentation, led to his leaving the Ensemble.

In 1990 he moved to the United States to become a professor of music at the University of California, Davis. He founded Theatre of Voices, an ensemble of male and female singers, specializing both in early and recent music, and performing in dynamic, theatrical stage presentations. Unlike the Hilliard Ensemble, it was planned to include a varying number of singers, depending on the demands of the performances. Theatre of Voices records exclusively for Harmonia Mundi USA, on which it has released a repertoire ranging from twelfth century chant to music of Arvo Pärt, including Litany of the Whale by John Cage, and the selection of early American religious music, including hymns sung in the "shaped note" tradition.

In 1996 Hillier left California to join the faculty of Indiana University, Bloomington, as director of its Early Music Institute. This is an interdisciplinary study program offering undergraduate and graduate degrees involving not just the study of ancient performance practice and musicology, but also courses in literature, fine arts, and medieval studies in other departments and schools of the university. Hillier also is conductor of Indiana University's Pro Arte Singers, its early music choir.

Since his move to the United States, Hillier has maintained his active career as a singer and conductor, appearing frequently in North America, Europe, and Japan, though he has relaxed this pace sufficiently to carry out his teaching and administrative responsibilities and also to research and write. His books include 300 Years of English Partsongs, Romantic English Partsongs, The Catch Book, and one on Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, and he has edited of a book of collected writings of composer Steve Reich.

Hillier has won many prizes for recordings. He performs on the Harmonia Mundi, ECM, EMI, Finlandia, and Hyperion labels. Read less
Browse 1-14 of 14 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    The Sound of Shakespeare
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 555057 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Edmund Kete,  Traditional,  Robert Johnson  ... 
    Performer:  David Douglass,  Paul O'Dette,  Emily van Evera,  Lyle Nordstrom  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
    CD: $15.99
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  • 2.
    Paul Hillier Conducts Arvo Part: Choral & Instrumental Music
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908730 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Christopher Bowers-Broadbent,  Kaia Urb,  Tiit Kogermann,  Aarne Talvik  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Voices,  Ars Nova Copenhagen,  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
    CD: $21.99
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  • 3.
    Kronos Plays Holmgreen
    Label: Dacapo   Catalog: 6220548 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgree
    Performer:  David Harrington,  Hank Dutt,  John Sherba,  Jeffrey Zeigler  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra,  Kronos Quartet
    SuperAudio CD: $17.99
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  • 4.
    Music For Tudor Kings From The Time Of Henry Vii & Henry Viii
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1015 Release Date: 01/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Fayrfax,  William Cornysh,  Sheryngham,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  David James,  Paul Elliott,  Paul Hillier,  Martin Nicholls  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble,  New London Consort members
    CD: $12.99
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  • 5.
    Century Vol 9 - Chansons & Madrigals Of The Renaissance
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908171 Release Date: 12/13/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Clément Janequin,  Loyset Compère,  John Dowland  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Dominique Visse,  Michel Laplénie,  Philippe Cantor  ... 
    Conductor:  Dominique Visse,  William Christie,  René Jacobs,  Erik Van Nevel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Clément Janequin Ensemble,  Les Arts Florissants  ... 
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 6.
    Century Vol 4 - Troubadours, Trouvères & Minnesänger
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908166 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  King of Navarre Thibaut,  Gautier de Coincy,  Anonymous,  Folquet de Marseille  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King,  Paul Hillier,  Ian Honeyman,  Julian Podger  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Lawrence-King,  René Clemencic,  Paul Hillier,  Mary Springfels
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harp Consort,  Clemencic Consort,  Theatre of Voices  ... 
    On sale! $15.98
    CD: $13.99
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  • 7.
    Palestrina: Canticum Canticorum / The Hilliard Ensemble
    Label: Virgin Classics Veritas Edition   Catalog: 61168 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina
    Performer:  Rogers Covey-Crump,  David James,  Lynne Dawson,  John Potter  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 8.
    Gesualdo: Tenebrae / Hilliard Ensemble
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 843867 Release Date: 04/18/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carlo Gesualdo
    Performer:  Rogers Covey-Crump,  John Potter,  Ashley Stafford,  David James  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
    CD: $39.99
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  • 9.
    Perotin / Hilliard Ensemble
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 837751 Release Date: 04/18/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pérotin,  Anonymous
    Performer:  Charles Daniels,  Mark Padmore,  Paul Hillier,  Rogers Covey-Crump  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
    CD: $21.99
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  • 10.
    Pärt: I Am The True Vine / Hillier, Theatre Of Voices, Et Al
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907242 Release Date: 03/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Christopher Bowers-Broadbent,  Steven Rickards,  Ellen Hargis,  Alan Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Voices,  Pro Arte Singers
    CD: $19.99
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  • 11.
    Pärt: Arbos / The Hilliard Ensemble, Et Al
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 831959 Release Date: 01/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  David James,  Christopher Bowers-Broadbent,  David Bevan,  Albert Bowen  ... 
    Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble,  Stuttgart Brass Ensemble
    CD: $21.99
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  • 12.
    Stockhausen: Stimmung / Gregory Rose, Singcircle
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 66115 Release Date: 09/10/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karlheinz Stockhausen
    Performer:  Penelope Walmsley-Clark,  Suzanne Flowers,  Rogers Covey-Crump,  Gregory Rose  ... 
    Conductor:  Gregory Rose
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singcircle
    CD: $18.99
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  • 13.
    Mozart: Vespers / Cleobury, King's College Choir
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 49672 Release Date: 07/18/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  David James,  Lynne Dawson,  Rogers Covey-Crump,  Paul Hillier
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Classical Players,  Hilliard Ensemble,  Cambridge King's College Choir
    ArkivCD $17.99
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  • 14.
    Cavalieri: La Rappresentatione de Anima e di Corpo / Stewart, Whole Noyse
    Label: Koch International Classics   Catalog: 7363 Release Date: 07/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emilio de Cavalieri
    Performer:  Neal Rogers,  Nathaniel Watson,  Elisabeth Engan,  Ruth Escher  ... 
    Conductor:  Warren Stewart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magnificat Players,  The Whole Noyse
    ArkivCD $16.99
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