yrmusic.comartistsbiosPaul Crabtree

Paul Crabtree (b. 1960)

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Before graduating from the Music Faculty at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and the Musikhochschule in Cologne, Germany, Paul Crabtree was the keyboard player in a catastrophically unsuccessful English garage band called Goats' Opera. Growing up with an equal interest in rock culture and classical music, he was disappointed that his academic training never acknowledged the world of rock and pop, and transplanted to California in his early 20s.

Exposure to the musically permissive culture in the Bay Area led him to integrate the various strands of his personal history to embrace and intermingle ideas as diverse as Latin poetry and 1960s girl groups. The resulting innovative intertwining of the ephemeral and the eternal encompasses the worlds of popular culture and highbrow art.

- Five Romantic Miniatures (from The Simpsons) bring cartoon sentiments into the concert hall.
- I, The Centurion re-imagines three scandalous Victorian love lyrics from the perspective of the crucifixion.
- Annunciata combines the wiltingly love-lorn poetry of Emmeline Stuart-Wortley with Gabriel's message to the virgin.

Sometimes he uses found objects alongside standard texts:
- When Are We Leaving? intermingles a Shakespeare sonnet with some of Dame Iris Murdoch's final ramblings as she was falling victim to Alzheimer's disease.
- Pax et Bonum is a response to the sudden death of a young tenor friend, whose last letter is quoted ironically alongside a sonnet on immortality.

He now lives in San Francisco, and his choral works are frequently performed up and down the West Coast. From the somber to the (almost) sentimental, his music is emotionally appealing and finely crafted. Check out his website at:

  • www.paulcrabtree.net.

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    YR2C14 Annunciata
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    YR2C19 Night
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    YR2C11 Renouncement
    YR2C16 Sunset on Calvary
    YR2C20 Three Rose Madrig...
    YR2C21 War Music

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