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Officers of the Academy

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USA Representative: Dr Paul M Ellison
PhD MA BMus(London) DipRAM FASC


paul ellison Paul is a native of Liverpool, England, where he was born in 1956. He grew up in Surrey, and was educated at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying organ with Christopher Bowers-Broadbent and gaining the Recital Diploma for Organ Performance (DipRAM); London University where he was awarded a BMus degree; Queens’ College, Cambridge; San José State University, where he took an MA in musicology; and Cardiff University, where he holds a PhD degree, awarded for his thesis "The Key to Beethoven: Connecting Tonality and Meaning in His Music"

During his time in London, Paul was Assistant Organist at St Pancras Church near Euston Station, and at St Mary-at-Hill Church in the City of London, and Director of Music and Organist at St Mary’s Church, The Boltons, in London’s fashionable Chelsea. He emigrated to the United States in August 1988, and is currently Director of Music and Organist at the Church of the Advent of Christ the King, San Francisco’s historic Anglo-Catholic parish. There he directs the professional choir, Schola Adventus, in a repertoire which ranges from Gregorian Chant to Messiaen and premiers of commissioned works. He directed the first ever recording of Palestrina’s Missa Confitebor tibi on the Schola Adventus recording Palestrina for Eight Voices, which was released in 2006. He is also High Holiday Choir Director at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, and a member of the faculty at St Matthew’s Episcopal Day School, San Mateo. He has taught at San José State University and has been Assistant and now Associate Editor of The Beethoven Journal, the periodical of the American Beethoven Society since 2000. In July 2010, he was appointed Editor of The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians.

Paul has been a lecturer in the Music Department at San Francisco State University since 2002, teaching classes in music history at both graduate and undergraduate level. He is also a contributor of articles, program annotations and liner notes to various publications. He recently edited Dear Max/Lieber Malcolm for Pendragon Press which was published in July 2010. It is a record of the extensive correspondence between pianist Malcolm Frager and conductor Max Rudolf. His first book: The Key to Beethoven: Connecting Tonality and Meaning in His Music will be published by Pendragon Press later this year.

Among the interesting highlights of his career Paul has performed for HRH The Prince Charles at Trinity College, Cambridge, directed the music at the weddings of actor Julian Sands and director Michael Attenborough and funerals of actor Leonard Rossiter and the Marquesa de Casa Maury (Freda Dudley Ward, romantically associated with King Edward VIII).