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The latest choral cantata by Karl Jenkins, The Healer, is premiered on 16 October in Grayshott followed by its US premiere at Carnegie Hall on 19 January, while November brings a 70th birthday UK tour to Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff.

Karl Jenkins's newest choral work is The Healer, a Cantata for St Luke, with first performances at Grayshott Concerts on 16 and 17 October, and at Carnegie Hall in New York on 19 January. The 40-minute score was commissioned by Grayshott Concerts to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ambitious and imaginative concert series based in the Hampshire village of Grayshott in the UK. The first UK performances feature the Excelsis choir and Marylebone Camerata, conducted by the composer, and take place in Grayshott's St Luke's Church. The concert on 17 October will be recorded by Classic FM for future broadcast.

The US premiere of The Healer follows at Carnegie Hall on 19 January, with Distinguished Concerts International New York conducted by Jonathan Griffith. This all-Jenkins concert on Martin Luther King Jr Weekend also includes The Peacemakers and the US premiere of the composer's Dylan Thomas tribute Llareggub, which receives first performances by the Russian State Philharmonic Orchestra at Cadogan Hall in London (13 October) and at the Swansea Festival (18 October).

Karl Jenkins describes how "The Healer is a Cantata for St Luke, an evangelist and physician of the soul. The text deals with healing, not only in the Christian and spiritual sense, but also with secular issues such as the ‘healing’ of our planet, Earth. In addition to setting parts of St Luke’s Gospel there are extracts from the Book of Common Prayer, a poem by William Blake, and contributions especially written for this work by Terry Waite CBE, Vivien Harrison and Carol Barratt. The text was researched and collated by Carol with guidance from Father Tim Ardouin of Llanrhidian Church, Gower.

"The work is scored for soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, oboe (doubling cor anglais), strings and percussion. As in my Stabat Mater, in order to evoke the atmosphere and sound of the ancient holy land (or Middle East) I have occasionally used two percussion instruments associated with this part of the world, the riq and the darbuca. There is also an important role for the solo oboe (doubling cor anglais), which is featured throughout, echoing the ancient indigenous double reed instruments of that region."

2014 is the 70th birthday year of Karl Jenkins, and celebrations include a UK concert tour of his most popular works to Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff. Performances take place in Symphony Hall in Birmingham with the City of Birmingham Choir (1 November), the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester with the Manchester Chorale and Manchester Concert Orchestra (2 November), and in St David's Hall in Cardiff with Cor Caerdydd and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (21 November), all conducted by the composer. The tour programme includes The Armed Man Choral Suite and excerpts from Adiemus, Requiem, The Peacemakers, Stabat Mater and the Euphonium Concerto with soloist David Childs.

> The Healer in Grayshott
> The Healer in New York
> UK 70th birthday tour details

>  Further information on Work: The Healer

Photo: DG/Rhys Frampton

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