Music in the Round


Paul Rissmann - Children's Composer

Commissioning new music has always been an important part of our work and we are proud to run two schemes allowing us, Ensemble 360 and our audiences to build close relationships with contemporary composers.

Children's Composer in Residence

Our Children’s Composer in ResidencePaul Rissmann, is an award-winning musician whose series of hugely popular commissioned pieces is a core part of our programme. 

Paul Rissmann was born on the Isle of Bute, Scotland. He currently holds the position of Animateur for the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and is Children’s Composer in Residence for Music in the Round. 

Paul’s diverse portfolio of compositions range from electronic music for Microsoft to an orchestral fanfare for the opening of the Twin Sails bridge in Poole Harbour. 

Paul has produced a series of highly interactive works that enable thousands of people to perform as equals with professional musicians. His composition Bamboozled for audience and orchestra has been performed by over 45,000 people – from the USA to Australia. It was performed at an Olympic Torch relay in the UK by the Philharmonia and in Avery Fisher Hall by the New York Philharmonic. 

Paul is frequently commissioned to set children’s books to music. In 2012 Paul won a British Composer’s Award for his composition The Chimpanzees of Happytown. It was recently recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, with Paul as narrator, and will be released in 2016.

Paul is passionate about music education. His work in this field has received awards from both the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Royal Television Society. In 2014, he appeared as creative director in a Channel 4 (UK) documentary Addicts’ Symphony, exploring how music can be therapeutic in overcoming addiction.

As a concert presenter, Paul has worked with many great orchestras in America, Australia, Europe, India, Malaysia and the Middle East. Recent engagements include performances with the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Gergiev and the LSO in Trafalgar Square, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia at the South Bank and a tour of India with Nicola Benedetti and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Paul has presented for BBC Radio, created a critically acclaimed series of music discovery concerts for adults called Naked Classics, and presents Uncovered with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.


Arts Award
Arts Award

Music in the Round is an Arts Award supporter. Find out more here.

Learn the Songs & Buy the CD!
Learn the Songs & Buy the CD!

Buy cds for children's concerts in our online shop.

Keychange Pledge
Keychange Pledge

We have taken the Keychange Pledge, taking action to represent the underrepresented.