Paul Hillier is from Dorset in England and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In 1973 he co-founded the Hilliard Ensemble of which he remained music director until 1990. In 1990 he founded the Theatre of Voices, and that same year moved to the USA and began an ongoing series of recordings with Harmonia Mundi. Throughout the 1990s Hillier was based in the Unites States, first at the University of California at Davis, and later as Professor of Music at the Indiana University School of Music, where he was director of the Early Music Institute from 1996-2003.
Hillier is the author of a monograph "Arvo Part" and editor of the "Collected Writings of Steve Reich", both published by Oxford University Press. His recordings have received numerous prizes, including the Edison Prize (Holland), the German Critics Prize, Caecilia Prize (Belgium), Gramophone Early Music Record of the Year, and three Grammy nominations.
In September 2001 Hillier was appointed Principal Conductor of the EstonianPhilharmonic Chamber Choir; in 2002 he was made an Honorary Professor in Music at the University of Copenhagen; and in 2003 he was appointed Chief Conductor of Ars Nova Copenhagen. In 2004 he was awarded the Estonian Cultural Prize, and made a return visit to UC Davis as artist in residence. In 2006 he was awarded an O.B.E. for services to choral music. He lives in Denmark and is the proud father of Clara, Kaia, and Freya.