Paul McCartney

Biography

Born: June 18, 1942; Liverpool, England  
Sir (James) Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool, England. At the age of 11, Paul auditioned to sing in the Liverpool Cathedral Choir, but was rejected. As a teenager, with no formal musical training, Paul taught himself guitar. He wrote his first pop song at age 14. By age 22, in 1964, Paul was an internationally famous rock star with the biggest band in history, the Beatles.

After the Beatles broke up in 1970, McCartney formed the band
Read more Wings with his wife, Linda, which continued until 1981. He then began a solo career. Critics dubbed most of his post-Beatle pop songs as light and melodic, but lacking true substance. Still, many were great commercial successes, even though these songs were never considered on a par with those of the Lennon-McCartney era.

Paul's roots were in Liverpool, and it was in 1981 that he visited his old school, the Liverpool Institute, and saw that it needed restoration. McCartney began a fundraising campaign to restore the building. The purpose of this was to found a music school, the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, which was established in 1995.

This was not Paul's only continuing link to Liverpool. In 1990, the city sought a way to commemorate its 150th anniversary. Composer Carl Davis worked for a year with McCartney on a commissioned piece called The Liverpool Oratorio. With McCartney's genius for melody and words, and Davis' classical training and knowledge, they put together a 100-minute piece for orchestra, choir, and several soloists. The oratorio is loosely about Paul's life growing up in Liverpool, his schooling, marriage, and family life, and, as is often the case with an oratorio, about God. The choruses are lovely, their harmonies reminiscent of some of the great classical choral works written for the church. The lyrics describe everyday life. The oratorio was premiered at the Liverpool Cathedral and performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, the same choir from which McCartney had been shunned at age 11. Many critics praised the work, and it has been performed in countries throughout the world. The album topped the classical charts in the U.S. and Britain.

Although pop projects were undertaken throughout the early 1990s, McCartney continued his classical composition in 1995 with a work for solo piano, A Leaf. It premiered at St. James' Palace, with the Prince of Wales in attendance.

In 1997, McCartney released the symphonic poem, Standing Stone. Full of lush harmonies and dissonances, this 75-minute orchestral and choral work is a huge achievement for McCartney. The piece is in four movements, and is based on Celtic myths relating to the beginnings of mankind. Paul worked with composer Richard Bennett, who did much of the arranging while McCartney wrote all of the themes. Magnificent in orchestration, ethereal in nature, Standing Stone reached No. 1 on the classical charts in both the U.K. and the U.S.

McCartney released Working Classical in 1999. With its orchestral and string quartet versions of previous McCartney songs, the album seems more on the semi-classical side. Paul includes arrangements of songs written for Linda McCartney, who died of breast cancer in 1998.

A Garland for Linda (2000) consists of classical choral pieces by various composers, including Paul, who wrote Nova. The work asks, "Are you there?" and answers, "I am here in every song you sing." Proceeds are donated to a charity for cancer research.

Countless musical groups and singers have also recorded McCartney's pop songs in classical form.

H.M. The Queen knighted Paul McCartney in 1996. Read less
Browse 51-75 of 94 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Movie Love Songs / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60965 Release Date: 08/21/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Leonard Bernstein,  Dave Grusin,  Nino Rota  ... 
    Performer:  Earl Wild
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 52.
    Heart To Heart - Kiri Te Kanawa, Malcolm Mcneill
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54299 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Scott Wiseman,  James Horner,  David Shire,  Amanda McBroom  ... 
    Performer:  Malcolm McNeill,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
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  • 53.
    Live From Loretto Chapel - An American Hallelujah, Romance
    Label: Clarion   Catalog: 930 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Paul McCartney,  Nils Lindberg,  Alberto Favero  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Young Smucker,  Mitzi Westra,  Kathryn Mueller,  Daniel Buchanan  ... 
    Conductor:  Linda Mack,  Matthew Tresler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Fe Desert Chorale
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  • 54.
    Kids' Stuff / King's Singers, Judi Dench
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47870 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James B. Kennedy,  Traditional,  Jean Schwartz,  Daryl Runswick  ... 
    Performer:  Jeremy Jackman,  Robert Chilcott,  Alastair Hume,  Anthony Holt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
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  • 55.
    Celebration / Canadian Brass
    Label: Opening Day   Catalog: 9339 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Lukas Foss,  Paul McCartney,  John Lennon  ... 
    Conductor:  Krzesimir Debski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Extra Time / Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425222 Release Date: 03/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Schott,  Charlie Parker,  Paul Leenhouts,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Leenhouts,  Daniel Brüggen,  Bertho Driever,  Karel Van Steenhoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Loeki Stardust Quartet Amsterdam
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  • 57.
    Beatles Baroque III / Les Boréades
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 22351 Release Date: 01/02/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Harrison,  John Lennon,  Paul McCartney
    Conductor:  Eric Milnes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Boréades Montreal
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  • 58.
    Berceuses & Jeux Interdits / Angèle Dubeau, La Pieta
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28717 Release Date: 10/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Paul McCartney,  François Dompierre,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Angèle Dubeau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
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  • 59.
    Music Camera Action!
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29825 Release Date: 10/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Elton John,  Paul McCartney,  Benoît Charest  ... 
    Conductor:  Gilbert Patenaude
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal
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  • 60.
    In Love / Peter Dijkstra, The Gents
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 23306 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  John Lennon,  Traditional,  Toni Wine
    Conductor:  Peter Dijkstra
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Gents
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  • 61.
    Beatles Gregorian Songbook - Special Edition / Schola Musica
    Label: Xxi   Catalog: 421 Release Date: 07/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  John Lennon,  George Harrison
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Musica
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  • 62.
    Between Two Worlds / Eduardo Fernández
    Label: Labor Records   Catalog: 7059 Release Date: 08/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Gentil Montaña,  Paul McCartney,  Alberto Ginastera  ... 
    Performer:  Eduardo Fernandez
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  • 63.
    Beatles For Harp / Jim Palmer
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2728 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  George Harrison,  John Lennon
    Performer:  Jim Palmer
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  • 64.
    Six - Berlin, Young, McCartney, Joel, Talbot / King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 56 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Paul McCartney,  Joby Talbot,  Billy Joel  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Phoenix,  David Hurley,  Christopher Gabbitas,  Robin Tyson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    CD: $9.99
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  • 65.
    The Strolling Strings 50th Anniversary Vol 2 / United States Air Force Band
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: ALT61172 Release Date: 01/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Lara,  Louis Ferrari,  André Popp,  Walter Donaldson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band Strolling Strings
    CD: $17.99
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  • 66.
    Ayako Yonetani and the Slovak State Philharmonic
    Label: Milky Way Classics   Catalog: 5637214441 Release Date: 10/19/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Paul McCartney
    Performer:  Ayako Yonetani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 67.
    Jonathan Adams - Guitarist
    Label: Sonic Grapefruit   Catalog: 5637333536 Release Date: 04/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrew York,  John Lennon,  Paul McCartney,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Adams
    CD: $15.99
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  • 68.
    From Bach To Beatles / John Bauer Brass
    Label: Intim Musik   Catalog: 86 Release Date: 01/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  Alfonso Ferrabosco,  John Dowland,  Thomas Simpson  ... 
    Performer:  Per Wilhelmsson,  Magnus Jonsson,  Fredrik Ljungberg,  Klas-Henrik Djarf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Bauer Brass
    CD: $17.99
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  • 69.
    Follow That Star / Peter Dijkstra, The Gents
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 20403 Release Date: 11/11/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Gritton,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Felix Bernard,  Leroy Anderson  ... 
    Performer:  Maksym Minakov
    Conductor:  Peter Dijkstra
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Gents,  Marimba Kwartet Carrefour,  Rubens Quartet
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  • 70.
    Caprices With Orphei Drängar Vol 4 (1982 - 1986)
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 5024 Release Date: 11/01/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Paul Anka,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Paul McCartney
    Performer:  Håkan Sund
    Conductor:  Eric Ericson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orphei Drängar
    CD: $21.49
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  • 71.
    Michael Lucarelli Plays The Beatles
    Label: Lms   Catalog: 5637402694 Release Date: 04/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  George Harrison,  John Lennon
    Performer:  Michael Lucarelli
    CD: $18.99
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  • 72.
    Beatles Baroque II / Les Boréades
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 22268 Release Date: 11/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Lennon,  Paul McCartney,  George Harrison
    Conductor:  Eric Milnes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Boréades Montreal
    CD: $17.99
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  • 73.
    Bond & Beyond / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80251 Release Date: 10/22/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Hayes,  Marvin Hamlisch,  Danny Elfman,  Eric Clapton  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $11.99
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  • 74.
    Captured! / The Bassoon Brothers
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 875 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Traditional,  Nino Rota,  Arthur Sullivan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bassoon Brothers
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  • 75.
    Christmas With The Choral Scholars Of King's College
    Label: Quilisma   Catalog: 401 Release Date: 09/04/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  William Byrd,  Traditional,  Mel Torme  ... 
    Performer:  Aidan Oliver,  Ben Toombs,  Andrew Kennedy,  Edward Price  ... 
    Conductor:  Aidan Oliver
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's College Choral Scholars
    CD: $17.99
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