Musician’s Corner – Paul Whittaker
Paul Whittaker, MBE, is a leading deaf music educator; profoundly deaf since the age of 8, he read music at Oxford, and did postgraduate study at the RNCM. Founding Music and the Deaf in 1988, he has been at the forefront of Deaf music education ever since, and has ensured that the needs of deaf and hearing impaired young people have been included in musical education initiatives.
Paul led Sign Up, Sing Up’s programme for deaf and hearing impaired children across the country. Here at YY&M, Paul led ‘Great Singing, Great Signing’ a two year project to create singing and signing choirs in Yorkshire. You can also, of course, find him in our videos of Singing and Signing (alongside Stephen Hesleton in ‘Tandem’).
In recent years, Paul has become a leading British Sign Language interpreter of opera, and has worked with Lief Ove Andsnes and Mitsuko Uchida on international projects to bring music to deaf and hearing impaired young people.
He’s currently very busy; Messiah at Sage Gateshead THIS Saturday 14th December, and a trip to Hamburg’s brand new Elbephilharmonie building with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. In February, he’ll be with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Edinburgh for an exploration of ‘Beethoven and Deafness’.