David Paul Graham was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, studied at Reading University and with Hans Werner Henze in Cologne.
He was three years in Montepulciano, teaching at the music school and organising the local music-theatre contribution to the annual festival. Here he initiated a childrens' composition course which produced Tre Opere per Burattini [Three Puppet-Operas] written and performed by young people. This project has become a model.
His works have been performed and broadcast in Europe and Latin-America. He composed several song-cycles (texts by Hans-Ulrich Treichel, Richard Nöbel, Rose Ausländer, Bert Brecht, Ian Stephen), larger works which have been premiered at the Almeida Festival; Münchener Biennale; Columbus Festival, Udine; Steirische Herbst, Austria and in many German cities. He has written music for radio-plays, film music for Volker Schloendorff and Bill Douglas, Music/Video with Harald Klemm (Dolly, a 20-minute artistic commentary on genetic engineering) and his latest operas were The Girls from Theresienstadt for Thomas Neuhoff and the Youth Choir of the Lukas Church, Bonn and Five and It (from Five Children and It).
His didactic work with young people is widely known. In 1996 Lighting the Candle brought together the Tate Gallery, the Orchestra of St. John's Smith Square and the National Youth Music Theatre in the performance of a stage piece with libretto and music by pupils from a London school. Graham teaches regularly a children's composition-class in Düsseldorf, has often been composer in residence at university courses (Spain) and 7 times member of the organising committee of a Cuban festival for new music.