Paul Hillier

Paul Douglas Hillier (born 9 February 1949) is an English conductor, music director and baritone. He specializes in both early and contemporary classical music, especially that by composers Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt. He was a co-founder of the Hilliard Ensemble and directed the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir for numerous years. He has been Chief Conductor of Ars Nova (Copenhagen) since 2003, and Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the National Chamber Choir of Ireland since 2008.

The Kronos Quartet with Paul Hillier in Malmö, 2005


Hillier was born in Dorchester, England in 1949. He attended The Thomas Hardye School.[1]

In 1974 he co-founded the Hilliard Ensemble along with fellow vicar-scholar Paul Elliott and counter-tenor David James. His concert debut was in 1974 in London's Purcell Room.[2] Hillier remained the director of the ensemble until 1990, when he founded Theatre of Voices. In addition to early music, this group explores more contemporary repertoire. With the Chicago-based ensemble His Majestie's Clerkes Hillier recorded early American repertoire such as the works of William Billings on the 1992 album A Land of Pure Delight.[2]

Hillier later became Director of the Early Music Institute at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and, at the same time, of the Pro Arte Singers, remaining so until he left the Institute in 2003. The Pro Arte Singers joined the Theatre of Voices in a couple of recordings. In 2001, he became the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir;[3] he left the position in 2007.[4]

Since 2003, Hillier has been Chief Conductor of Ars Nova (Copenhagen). In 2008, he was appointed Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the National Chamber Choir of Ireland.[4]

Hillier has recorded a number of solo albums, some with harpist Andrew Lawrence-King, on the Harmonia Mundi, ECM, EMI, Finlandia and Hyperion labels.

Academic appointmentsEdit

Starting in 1980, Hillier has held a variety of academic appointments over the years, most recently as Director of the Early Music Institute at Indiana University Bloomington.[2][5]


  • The Catch Book (2005), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-343649-3, a collection of catches (comic rounds) edited by Hillier.
  • A Josquin Anthology (2005), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-353218-2, a collection of choral pieces by Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez, edited by Ross Duffin and Hillier.
  • Writing on Music, 1965–2000 (2002), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-511171-0, a collection of writings by composer Steve Reich, edited by Hillier.
  • Arvo Pärt (1997), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-816616-8, The first English-language biography of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.
  • English Romantic Partsongs (1986), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-343650-7, a collection of songs edited by Hillier.
  • 300 Years of English Partsongs: Glees, Rounds, Catches, Partsongs 1600-1900 (1983), Faber & Faber, ISBN 0-571-10045-7, a collection of music edited by Hillier.


  1. ^ Joanna Davis (19 August 2010). "Renowned conductor from Dorchester held in USA over £58,000 child support bill". Bournemouth Daily Echo. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Paul Hillier (Baritone, Conductor)". Bach Cantatas Website. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir". Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Paul Hillier". Ars Nova (Copenhagen). Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  5. ^ Early Music Institute Archived 28 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit