Paul studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London. His first appointment was co-principal trumpet of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden eventually moving from this position to join Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the UK’s premier contemporary ensemble, London Sinfonietta.
Paul was a founder-member of English Brass Ensemble and has worked with many of the world’s leading composers including Witold Lutoslawski, Elliott Carter, Gunther Schuller, Peter Maxwell Davies, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Toru Takemitsu, George Benjamin and Harrison Birtwistle. Paul has also been principal trumpet of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and is still currently a member of one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, Britten Sinfonia: resident ensemble at the Barbican, London.
His career as a trumpeter has covered many genres: classical, contemporary, commercial, film, pop and folk music, and he has worked with many popular artists including Barbara Streisand, Shirley Bassey, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Bob Geldoff, Bloc Party and Oasis. His film work includes Batman (1989), Gladiator, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Shrek, Madagascar, The Chronicles of Narnia, Rambo, Sweeney Todd, Moulin Rouge and Pirates of the Caribbean. In the recording studio he has worked with many of the great film composers such as Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand, John Williams, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Elmer Bernstein and Jerry Goldsmith.
As an educator Paul has been a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and was Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2003 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, London, limited to 300 former Academy students, and awarded to those musicians who have distinguished themselves within the music profession.
His discography includes solo works for trumpet and piano (Joie de Vivre and Divertissment) and a range of concerti with the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Gerhardt. His recording of the Shostakovich Concerto No 1 op 35 for trumpet, piano and strings with Alain Lefèvre (piano), Mathias Bamert (conductor) and the London Mozart Players was awarded Canada’s prestigious JUNO Award for Best Classical Album in 2010. In 2019 Paul founded a new charity – Harmony: Action Through the Arts – bringing benefit to young people who are socially and economically disadvantaged through activity in a range of musical projects. Paul is currently Head of Woodwind and Brass at Shrewsbury International School, Bangkok, Thailand. Paul is a Denis Wick Artist.