PAVIOUR, PAUL (b. 1931)

Paul Paviour was born 1931 in Birmingham, United Kingdom, and grew up in Bedford. Recognized as one of the most versatile of Australian composers, Paul Paviour studied mainly in the United Kingdom at the Royal College of Music and London University where he studied with Herbert Howells (composition), Gordon Jacob (orchestration) and Sir Adrian Boult (conducting). He was also encouraged by Dr. Vaughan Williams in composition. He has been awarded Fellowships from London College of Music, Trinity College, the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal College of Organists, who also awarded him the prestigious Harding Prize. In 1970, he was offered a prestigeous post in Australia and moved there for health reasons. However, he regards himself as a world musician, having done work in diverse places as Indonesia, Italy, Canada and Russia as well as the United Kingdom and the USA.
He has held a considerable number of posts, mostly concerned with education or the church. These have included Cathedral organist and choirmaster at Bathurst NSW, Wakefield UK, and in North London, also Director of Music at the Newnham School, Normanton Grammar School, Yorkshire, All Saints College, Bathurst and lecturer at Goulburn Teacher's College (later Goulburn College of Advanced Education, later still NSW Police Academy!)
Paviour has always considered himself as an eclectic musician rather than a specialist. As a teacher, he is one of the most experienced educators in the country, having taught primary, secondary and tertiary levels in two continents as well as guest lecturer in several other countries, and has been a member of several important educational committees. He is also in considerable demand as an examiner and adjudicator, regularly adjudicating at Eisteddfords in Sydney, in Adelaide, Albury and the Australian National Eisteddford in Canberra.
An all-around musician, Paul Paviour is recognized as one of Australia's leading organists, regularly giving recitals in Sydney Town Hall, St Andrew's Cathedral, and the Cathedrals of Newcastle, Wangaratta, Bathurst, Wollongong and Goulburn; as well as overseas. His improvisations have been critically acclaimed by devotees of organ music. Paviour is also in demand as a conductor with choral societies and orchestras and is recognized as one of the country's leading choral conductors. His Goulburn Consort of Voices has made several tours, including an European tour in 1982, and by special request, sang for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.
He has been Director of Music for several important historic events including the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh in 1974, the Consecration of the Bathurst Cathedral in 1971 and the opening by H. M. The Queen of the new Federal Houses of Parliament in May 1988.
As a composer, Paul Paviour has written for virtually all genres and combinations. The works for amateurs and school groups, both vocal and instrumental, have deservedly been very popular with a growing public.
As one of the country’s leading authorities on hymn tunes and folk songs, Paviour has edited, or contributed to, a number of important compendiums of traditional songs and hymnology. Folk songs and hymn tunes and even dance tunes are to be found in several of his compositions (eg. Fourth Symphony, first movement). In this respect, he can be considered a part of a continuing tradition, rather than an individualist or revolutionary, but, as in all creature artists, it is the future that will see the works against the background of Australian contemporary achievement.
With such wide sympathies and interests and a deep practical knowledge in music making at all socioe- conomic levels, amateur and professional, it is not surprising that his musical output covers virtually the whole gamut of creative work, whether for music, theatre, concert hall, cathedral, home, classroom, folk song festival and even dance hall. With this development to a more refined and accessible style from the early seventies onwards, the later works have made a considerable contribution to Australian music, and indeed the English speaking world. Possibly the most important contribution would be the choral works for amateur choirs such as the carols and part songs and the larger works.
In 2003, Paul Paviour was the recipient of the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia presented by the Australian Government for service to music, particularly within the community of Goulburn, as an educator, composer and musician.