Paul Max Edlin was born in 1963. He comes from an artistic family; his grandparents were both opera singers and his mother is an artist. He entered the Royal College of Music in 1981 where he studied composition with Edwin Roxburgh, Richard Blackford and Joseph Horovitz, and also trumpet with John Wallace. He won most of the composition prizes at the College, then in 1986 he won the IX Premio Internazionale Ancona, and in 1987 was the recipient of the Harriet Cohen Memorial Award.
Paul’s works have been performed both nationally and in Europe. In 1989 his opera The Fisherman was premièred to wide critical acclaim in a production by the RCM Opera School under James Lockhart. Arthur Jacobs, writing for Opera Magazine, called Paul “our latest operatic prodigy”.
A major contribution to Paul’s work to date, is his large scale cycle based on architecture from South-East Asia. This cycle includes: Borobudur for large orchestra, first performed by the RCM Symphony Orchestra under Elgar Howarth as the concluding piece to the RCM’s 1995 ‘Fast Forward Festival’, Bayon, a five act opera, and Banteay Srei which was first performed as the ballet Wild Child, whose preparations and performance formed the subject of a documentary shown on BBC 2.
Of his chamber forces, Five Fantastic Islands was performed at the 1994 Huddersfield Festival by Psappha and subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 3. This piece inhabits the sound world of his most recently completed composition, an opera/ballet, Five Arabian Nights, written in collaboration with American writer and librettist Patricia Debney. The original piece explores the emotions and attitudes of Scheherazade and Shahriar through interpretations of five tales from ‘The Thousand and One
Paul Max Edlin is married with two sons. He lives in Kent, where he lectures at Canterbury Christ Church College and is currently working on a Clarinet Quintet for David Campbell.