Paul Bateman studied the piano with Rosalie Helliwell, Cimbro Martin (at the Guildhall School of Music) and Paul Hamburger. He also studied singing with William Parsons, organ with Joseph Vickers and cello with Anthony Pleeth.
His first job at age 20 was as Musical Director for a show company on board the Ocean Monarch which sailed from Southampton to Sydney to commence 4 months cruising around the South Pacific before returning home.
On return to London he commenced a career as a freelance pianist, accompanist, chamber musician and repetiteur. One regular job which was to prove fortuitous for the future, was as accompanist for the Advanced Conductors course at the Royal Academy of Music – a position he held for 10 years. As a repetituer he coached many fine opera singers, notably the late Anthony Rolfe Johnson, with whom he also gave recitals. Particularly special memories include a recital with Anthony at the Opera house in Ghent and one with Willard White in the Cada da Musica, Porto. Paul was Head of music Staff for the first three years of the European Opera Centre in Belgium and a regular guest repetituer at the Opera de la Monnaie in Brussels.
As a chamber musician he has been pianist with the Kammerspiel Piano Trio, formed in 1994 with Stephen Morris (violin) and Robin Thompson-Clarke (cello). They have recorded two albums – the first has music by Haydn, Mendelssohn and Gershwin and the second – ‘Seven Last Words’ is music by the contemporary Irish composer Ian Wilson. On this Paul plays his own Fazioli 212 piano that he has owned since 1995. It was originally owned by a recording studio in London and was the piano that Freddie Mercury played on his last album.
Paul founded and directed the Castle Hedingham Music Festival from 2004-2009. Artists included the Anthony Rolfe Johnson (who was Patron of the Festival), Sir Willard White, the Kammerspiel Trio, Medici String Quartet, Brodsky Quartet, and the Locrian Ensemble. Paul also gave solo recitals – in 2006 the climax of the festival was his performance of Beethoven’s Pathetique and Waldstein sonatas and Liszt’s Sonata in B minor. He has also given solo recitals and concerto performances including Beethoven 1st and 5th, Shostakovitch No.2 and Brahms No.2.
Paul started his conducting career with the West End shows Singin’ In The Rain, Barnum, Charlie Girl, Ziegfeld, The Phantom of the Opera and Carmen Jones. He has since recorded and given concerts with Bryn Terfel, José Carreras, Sumi Jo, Jessye Norman, Barbara Hendricks, Lesley Garrett, Tito Beltran, Jason Howard, Sarah Brightman and Paul McCartney.
For Silva Screen Records he has conducted over 30 albums with the City of Prague Philharmonic. He has also worked regularly on radio and in concert with the BBC Concert Orchestra and in the UK has also conducted the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National and Ulster Orchestras.
Abroad, he has worked with the Malmö Symphony, Seville Symphony, Munich Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Dallas Symphony and Pacific Symphony (Los Angeles), Russian National and Tokyo Symphony Orchestras. Paul conducted Mozart’s The Magic Flute for Opera Box in 1992 and The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan Tutte for Music Theatre London in 1994. He made his debut at Malmö Opera in Sweden in 2002 conducting a new production of “Nine”.
For three years starting in 2000 Paul conducted the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. These concerts have seen him work with Jessye Norman, Barbara Hendricks, Sir Paul McCartney, A-Ha, Willie Nelson, Santana, Moby and Bryn Terfel. He has also conducted two of Bryn Terfel’s Faenol Festival concerts in North Wales.
2005 started with the RPO’s Filmharmonic album and recordings for Yahama, followed by a tour of Japan with Sarah Brightman and the Tokyo Philharmonic . ‘Filmharmonic’ in concert took place in June at the Royal Albert Hall and another film music concert with the RPO at Fairfield Halls, Croydon in November. He conducted a Christmas concert with them at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. The year ended with 2 exciting concerts – both for Sarah Brightman, the first with the Russian National Orchestra at the Rossiya Concert Hall in Moscow in front of President Putin, and the second a New Year’s Eve concert with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra in the Great Hall of the People.
Highlights of 2006 included conducting the Olivier Awards Ceremony in February, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in Oslo in March and conducting a tour of Korea with the RPO in May (Rossini, Saint-Seans and Tchaikovsky). This was followed by a concert with the English Chamber Orchestra and John Barry at the Royal Albert Hall and concerts with Sarah Brightman in Moscow and Beijing.
2007 saw a return to the Orquesta Sinfonica de La Coruna in Spain, the Olivier Awards ceremony, a concert with Sarah Brightman and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden and a concert with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria in Las Palmas. This was in the stunning Auditorio Alfredo Kraus with its huge glass wall behind the orchestra that looks out to sea. 2 concerts with the RPO followed – the Royal Albert Hall and Watford Colisseum featuring a world premiere of the ‘Four Season of Woman’ by Ronnie Smith which Paul orchestrated 3 years ago.
2008 saw another ‘Filmharmonic’ with the RPO at the Royal Albert Hall, a trip to Qatar with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orhcestra and recordings in Prague for composer Adrian Munsey, featuring the singing of actress Honor Blackman! A new recording for Sarah Brightman followed, then 3 film music concerts for Raymond Gubbay at the Barbican, Symphony Hall and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
2009 saw debuts with the Nörrkoping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden and the Malta Philharmonic. The concert in Malta was particularly special as the Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja has now become one of the world’s top tenors. He’s also a lovely guy! His guest was American pop idol Michael Bolton who was also a joy to work with. The recording in Sweden introduced Paul to a particularly special orchestra – beautiful playing in every section. The end of 2009 saw Paul’s first trip to Vietnam to conduct the Ho Chi Min City Symphony and Ballet Orchestra in the former Saigon Opera House. The concert, with Vietnamese star singer Duc Tuan, was an introduction of the genre of the ‘Musical’ to Vietnamese audiences, and was a great success. He will conduct and arrange a new album for Duc Tuan, to be recorded in Prague in 2015.
For the London 2012 Olympics Paul conducted a concert at the Royal Festival Hall that will brought together choirs from five continents who joined together to perform a specially commissioned new work by Karl Jenkins – The Hero’s Journey.
In November 2013 he conducted for José Carreras in Japan, returning with the strong feeling that he had taken part in something particularly special, with an artist of legendary musicianship.
2013 saw the beginning of a fruitful relationship with Deutsche Grammophon and work as arranger on albums for Piotr Beczala and Daniel Hope., who also commissioned Paul to write a suite for violin and orchestra based on the songs of Kurt Weill. In 2014 Paul returned to Malta to conduct again for Joseph Calleja and Bryn Terfel. The same year saw the 9th annual film music concert (now called ‘Film Music Gala’) at the Royal Albert Hall with the RPO. The year will close with a tour of 22 concerts for Sarah Brightman taking in Beijing, Taiwan, the Baltic States and Japan.
Paul’s arrangements feature on many singers’ albums, most recently he arranged and conducted the album ‘Together’ for the vocal group Blake which was nominated for a Classical Brit Award.