Paul Mealor is one of the world’s most ‘performed’ living composers and has been described as, ‘the most important composer to have emerged in Welsh choral music since William Mathias’ (New York Times, 2001) and his music is, ‘marked by something outside of himself that is beautifully spatial and evocative of landscape… it illuminates both our past and our future’ (The Guardian, 2011).
Topping the Classical Charts for six weeks with his bestselling album, ‘A Tender Light’ (featuring Tenebrae Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) in November 2011, he also broke records by being the first classical composer to hold both the classical and pop chart No 1’s at the same time in December 2011, securing the UK Christmas No 1 with his piece for The Military Wives Choir and Gareth Malone, ‘Wherever You Are’. ‘Wherever You Are’ entered the UK Pop Singles Chart at number 1 on 19th December, selling over 556,000 copies in one week, more than the rest of the Top 12 combined, and was nominated for Best British Single in the 2012 BRIT Awards. It has been named, by the Official Charts Company as, the fastest selling single since Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’. Also, in April of 2012 Mealor was voted the nation’s favourite living composer during the UK Classic FM Hall of Fame.
In January 2018, he was appointed as an Officer of the Venerable Order of St John (OStJ) by HM Queen Elizabeth II. In March 2023 he was promoted to Commander (CStJ) by HM King Charles III.
In May 2019, he was appointed to the Order of the Samurai (OSS) at Great Shogun Level.
In March 2020 he was appointed a Commander of The Catholic Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem (CLJ) and in November 2020 he was awarded The Saltire Society Fletcher of Saltoun Award for his outstanding contribution to arts and humanities in Scotland. He is only the second composer, after Sir James MacMillan to be given the award.
In 2021 he composed the official hymn for Her Majesty's Royal Air Force, Per Ardua ad Astra.
Mealor's compositions featured in three of the four national services of thanksgiving for the life of the late Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022. His, 'I shall not Die but Live' (a setting of Psalm 118 in Scots Gaelic) was written especially for the service and sung by Karen Matheson at Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. His 'A Welsh Prayer' was also sung at Llandaff Cathedral at the Welsh National Service of thanksgiving.
In 2023, Mealor was commissioned to create a brand-new piece for the Coronation of King Charles III. His work, "Coronation Kyrie” - set in the Welsh language - was sung by Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel – the first time that the Welsh language was sung at a Coronation. Mealor also arranged the Strauss Fanfare which accompanied King Charles’s crowing.
In 2023 he was commissioned to compose three works for the Scottish Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla - Balmoral Flourishes, a Gaelic Psalm setting and the closing recessional march, The Call of Lochnagar.