Welcoming two giants of classical music to receive their Honorary Degrees

July 2023 saw the College of Arts and Law welcome two new Honorary Graduates, both of whom are internationally renowned in the field of classical music.

July 2023 Honorary Graduate Carolyn Sampson.

July 2023 Honorary Graduate Carolyn Sampson.

Carolyn Sampson is of the world’s leading sopranos. She appears regularly at the Wigmore Hall where she was a “featured artist” in the 14/15 season. She has given recitals at the Oxford and Leeds Lieder, and Aldeburgh Festival, as well as at many festivals and concert halls across Europe.

Carolyn’s numerous concert engagements in the UK have included regular appearances at the BBC Proms, and with orchestras including Britten Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, English Concert, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. In Europe and North America she has appeared with the Bergen Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, and San Francisco Symphonies, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, amongst many others.

On the opera stage Carolyn’s roles have included the title role in Semele and Pamina in The Magic Flute for English National Opera, and various roles in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. She also sang the title role in Lully’s Psyché for the Boston Early Music Festival, which was subsequently nominated for a Grammy.

Nominated for Artist of the Year in the 2017 Gramophone Awards, Carolyn’s recording with Ex Cathedra for Hyperion, ‘A French Baroque Diva’ won the recital award in the 2015 Gramophone Awards.

July 2023 Honorary Graduate Paul Mealor.

July 2023 Honorary Graduate Paul Mealor.

Paul Mealor is one of the world’s most ‘performed’ living composers. 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’.

Paul’s music has been commissioned and performed at many festivals and by many orchestras and choruses and has been broadcast on every major TV and Radio station throughout the world. Since January 2003 he has taught in the Music Department at the University of Aberdeen where he is Professor of Composition.

Paul reached an unprecedented international audience in April 2011, when 2.5 billion people (the largest audience in broadcasting history) heard his Motet, Ubi caritas performed by the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, conducted by James O’Donnell at the Royal Wedding Ceremony of His Royal Highness Prince William and Catherine Middleton (now TRH The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge) at Westminster Abbey. It since topped the Classical singles charts in the USA, UK, Australia, France and New Zealand.

Paul wrote several works for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. He has composed operas and symphonies for Scottish Opera, NEW Sinfonia, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales amongst many others. He is the first President of Ty Cerdd – Wales’s National Centre for music making and Patron of the Welsh Music Guild. He is Vice-President of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and the North Wales International Music Festival.