Film, Television and Concert Composer.
I am a composer in love with the harp! My first TV score, written when I was twenty, was scored for flute, oboe, harp and accordion and contained an extensive harp part, and many of my early TV scores featured flute and harp. Latterly the harp has assumed centre stage in my output and I am building an extensive catalogue of solo, chamber and concertante harp works, including the four-movement Concerto Romantico for harp and strings.
In the course of my long career both as a TV/film and concert composer I have worked and recorded with many distinguished harpists, among them Marie Goossens; Jean Bell, legendary Halle Orchestra Principal Harp; Sheila Bromberg of The Beatles "She's Leaving Home" fame; Skaila Kanga, renowned session harpist; Frances Kelly, leading exponent of early harp music; Elizabeth Jane Baldry, who discovered Victorian Fairy Harp Music and is the world's only silent movie harpist; Camilla Pay, leading film session and concert harpist; Gabriella Dall'Olio, Head of Harp Studies, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and famous international soloist; Alexander Rider, recital soloist and musicologist and David Snell, famous jazz and session harpist. In addition, Israeli harpist and recording star Rachel Talitman has recorded a CD of my harp works including Concerto Romantico for harp and strings which she commissioned.
My aim in composing for the harp is to allow the instrument to sound as beautiful and as idiomatic as possible, with equal emphasis on mellifluousness of melody, richness of sound, and, where appropriate, sheer entertainment value!
"Your addition to the the world of harp repertoire is a tremendous gift for generations. Flowers at your feet." Kara Dahl Russell, harpist, actress, teacher and writer, April 2022.
"Swooping filmic gestures and luscious harp writing fill this music (Concerto Romantico) with rich sentiment in the best sense of the word.....A joyous celebration of the harp in soloistic and chamber settings, and of the highest order." Alexander Rider reviewing Rachel Taltman's CD 'Paul Lewis Romantic Music for Harp' in the UKHA magazine, November 2021.
"This record is a journey alternating passion, sensitivity, reveries, the whimsical with sensitive melodies." Carlo Schreiber reviewing Rachel Talitman's CD 'Paul Lewis Romantic Music for Harp' on Crescendo magazine website, October 2021.
"Full of all those things to delight in, real feelings, what makes us human - what music is all about." Veerle Deknopper reviewing Rachel Talitman's 'Paul Lewis Romantic Music for Harp' CD on Culturpakt web page, August 2021.
"Yesterday was a unique emotional experience for me, we recorded the World Premiere of "Concerto Romantico" by the brilliant British composer Paul Lewis, which he dedicated to me. I feel so honored. Thank you so so much for enriching the harp repertoire with such inspiring music." Rachel Talitman, Tel Aviv, 8th June, 2021.
"Altogether a heart-warming, feel-good CD." Sioned Williams reviewing Harpscenes solo harp CD in the UKHA magazine, November 2020.
"If you want harp music that is idiomatic, tuneful and lyrical then this is the disc for you." Gary Higgins reviewing Harpscenes CD for British Music Society CD reviews, November 2020.
"Paul Lewis' prolific output for the harp is fed by a passionate adoration of the instrument....This often luscious oeuvre has found an ideal interpreter in Dall'Olio........A delicious collection of truly lovely music, lovingly played." Alexander Rider reviewing Harpscape solo CD in the UKHA magazine, autumn 2018.
Of Paul Lewis's harp solos: "Beautiful, lyrical and sometimes nostalgic pieces, stepping back in time to showcase the harp at its stylish best." Gabriella Dall'Olio, international soloist and Head of Harp Studies and Harp Chamber Music, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London.
Of Saturday Night Jazz Suite: "Fun, enjoyable and entertaining: the perfect music to brighten your mood, and the mood of your audience!" Gabriella Dall'Olio, London.
"Paul's compositions for the harp are well written, full of charm and they are never obvious. It is a new way of playing and listening to the harp!" Alessandra Ziveri, harp soloist and recording artiste, Italy.
"I've been playing your music and enjoying myself immensely. I like your humour and fantasy." Gloria Joyce Burt, harpist, Sweden.
ROMANTIC MUSIC FOR HARP - PAUL LEWIS Songs of Israel, Memories of Amboise, Concerto Romantico. Rachel Talitman with the Israel Strings Ensemble, cond. Doron Salomon. Harp & Company CD 5050-46.
HARPSCAPE Four solo suites performed by Gabriella Dall'Olio: Postcards from Paris, Decospherics (Four Jazz Age Dances,) Musings on a Maori Lullaby, Saturday Night Jazz Suite. EM Records EMR CD048.
HARPSCENES A selection of suites and solo pieces performed by Camilla Pay, Fiona Hosford and Alexander Rider. EMR CD063.
CREPUSCULE British works for flute, viola and harp, including my joyful, Gallic-flavoured three-movement Divertimento, performed by the Aurora Trio. EMR CD069.
SERENADE AND DANCE Romantic music for harmonica, harp, piano and string quartet with harpist Elizabeth-Jane Baldry. Includes three harmonica and harp duos: Serenata, Impromptu and Norfolk Rhapsody AKA Norfolk Idyll. CAMEO 2024.
SHEET MUSIC & PDF FILES
Click on the titles below to read about them on the publishers' websites, and in the case of Goodmusic publications see the score and hear a computer-generated performance, though you listen at your peril: computers cannot play with feeling or do rubato, bisbigliando, harmonics or chordal glissandi!
Most works are available as printed copies or pdf files.
Oast House Serenade
Saturday Night Jazz Suite Associated Boards & Trinity/Guildhall Exam Syllabuses
Valses formerly Trinity/Guildhall Exam Syllabus
Musings on a Maori Lullaby - Variations on Hine e Hine
Two for Fi
Jane Austen Suite
Lullaby and Music Box Waltz
Cradle Song and Music Box Polka
Postcards from Paris
Postcards from Bologna
Decospherics - Four Jazz Age Dances
Four Anticke Dances
Girl with Harp and Roses
Improvisations on "The Ash Grove"
Cantilena (Theme from Concerto Romantico)
Rue de la Harpe
HARP QUARTET or ENSEMBLE
HARP & STRING QUARTET
Girl with Harp and Roses
HARP & STRING QUINTET (quartet + bass)
Songs of Israel
GUITAR & HARP
Concerto Romantico harp & strings
Kaimai Sunset harp & strings
Norfolk Concerto flute, harp & strings
Devonshire Dances harp & small orchestra
Rye Festival Suite harp & strings
Seaford Sketches harp & strings