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Paul Henley

Composer
Member since October 2019
Paul Henley is an English composer living in England. A former opera singer, his prime purpose when writing music is to communicate and engage the audience and he believes music should be highly expressive. He trained at Birmingham School of Music where he was co-winner of the BMI Composition Prize and in 2017, his 'Prelude' for orchestra was shortlisted for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's Composers' Day with Mark-Anthony Turnage who 'highly commended' the work. He writes for a wide variety of mediums and his diverse artistic interests include Theatre and Dance.

My Style

Paul's music has been described as 'immediately accessible', 'original and absorbing', 'very compelling, often beautiful', 'highly individual' and 'uplifting and a joy to sing'. It is basically tonal and sometimes contains elements of jazz and show music. He wishes it to appeal more to the heart than the head. Both his vocal and instrumental works are often narrative based and tend to alternate between being very lyrical and very rhythmic.

Featured Compositions

Listen to works by Paul Henley

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Now The Night Is Rising

SATB Choir
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This is an 'a cappella' item from my stage work, 'Bethlehem Junction'. The show is based on the Nativity and this number is sung by the shepherds just before the arrival of the angel.
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Sonata No.1 for Cello and Piano - 2nd. Mvt.

Cello and Piano
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This is a lively movement with a more lyrical middle passage highlighting the cello's capacity for 'cantabile' expression.
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'Elegy' for String Quartet (opening passage)

String Quartet
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This work was written in memory of my parents. The initial motif in the viola provides much of the material for the work.
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Holy Is His Name

Vocal Duet and Orchestra
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This duet from my stage work, 'Bethlehem Junction', a presentation of the Nativity, is sung by Mary and Elizabeth. The text is loosely based on the Magnificat.

Testimonials

Andrew Downes Composer
Nov 6, 2019
PAUL HENLEY Testimonial Paul Henley is a fine composer with an ability to communicate with performer and listener alike. Being a baritone singer himself, Paul has a particular aptitude for composing for the voice. His lines are smooth, logical and lyrical, and the songs are very pleasant to listen to, and rewarding to sing. The instrumental music combines melodic lyricism with strongly defined rhythmic vitality. The Sonata for Cello and Piano is a particularly fine work.
James Ross
Oct 31, 2019
I am delighted to write to recommend Paul Henley's compositions. He was commissioned in 2019 to compose a work for Bridgnorth Sinfonia, and created The Firmament on High - a beautiful score, evocative, rich in musical ideas, demonstrating a close understanding of the musicians for whom it is written. The musicians responded enthusiastically to Paul Henley's music, which is also a pleasure to conduct, and I can recommend his work highly.
David Gaukroger
Oct 16, 2019
I first encountered Paul’s music when playing the piano for his “Bethlehem Junction.” What struck me was his sure-footed lyricism and his adept writing for the voice. Thoroughly tonal, the music nonetheless has originality and freshness.
Duncan Honeybourne
Oct 15, 2019
Paul Henley is a most imaginative composer whose work exhibits considerable expressive power and remarkable rhythmic ingenuity. His attractive music makes a strong emotional appeal, blending fine and subtle craftsmanship with a strong artistic individuality, ready lyricism and pungent harmony. This is music that really has something fresh and interesting to say, and it is always a pleasure to play and listen to Henley's works - which deserve a much wider listenership.
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