Sir Karl Jenkins: Coronation Music at Westminster Abbey
Royal Harpist Alis Huws performs Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins’s Tros Y Garreg within the Coronation programme at Westminster Abbey in London on 6 May 2023.
Music by Sir Karl Jenkins, one of Britain’s most loved and celebrated living composers, is included in the programme for the Coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May 2023, showcasing musical talent from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The programme features a range of musical styles and performers, blending tradition, heritage and ceremony with new musical voices of today, and reflecting The King’s life-long love and support of music and the arts.
The Official Royal Harpist Alis Huws is soloist in Sir Karl Jenkins’s Tros Y Garreg, an arrangement of a Welsh folk song drawn from his harp concerto Over the Stone, as part of the music programme preceding the Coronation service. The work was commissioned by His Majesty when Prince of Wales, and its inclusion is in recognition of The King’s long standing and deeply held relationship and affiliation with Wales. Sir Antonio Pappano, Director of Music for the Royal Opera House, will be conducting the Coronation Orchestra which comprises a bespoke collection of musicians drawn from orchestras of the former Prince of Wales’ Patronages including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
> Watch Tros Y Garreg on YouTube
> Listen to Tros Y Garreg on Spotify
Sir Karl Jenkins comments: “I’m greatly honoured that my music has been included in the Coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort. When he was Prince of Wales, The King commissioned a harp concerto from me, one movement of which is based on the wonderful Welsh folk song Tros Y Garreg, which means Over the Stone or Crossing the Stone. It was composed for the first Royal Harpist of the modern age, Catrin Finch, and I’m delighted the work is to be performed in Westminster Abbey by the current Royal Harpist Alis Huws.”
"I saw HM Queen Elizabeth II's coronation when I was only eight years old at home in Wales in 1953, on a tiny 12-inch television screen. The house was filled with neighbours all lined up in rows, excited to watch this historic event. Little did I think, many years later, I'd be involved in the coronation of the next monarch. It's really thrilling."
In addition to Tros Y Garreg, a number of works by Sir Karl Jenkins have royal connections. The Royal Armouries commissioned him to compose The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, premiered at the Royal Albert Hall in 2000. Jenkins’s setting of Laurence Binyon’s famous ode For the Fallen was premiered in the presence of the Queen at the Festival of Remembrance in London in 2010. The Prince of Wales commissioned him a second time in 2016 to write Fanfare for Poundbury, performed that year at the opening of Poundbury Square, Dorset. Jenkins received an OBE in 2005, a CBE in 2010 and became the first Welsh composer to be knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2015 for “services to composing and crossing musical genres”.
One World, Sir Karl Jenkins’s most recent large-scale work for voices and orchestra, will be released on a new recording by Decca Records this summer, followed by a concert premiere in the 2023/24 season. The recording features the World Orchestra and Choir for Peace conducted by the composer with baritone Roderick Williams, soprano Lucy Crowe and mezzo Kathryn Rudge as soloists, with choral contributions in two movements by the Stay at Home Choir with a community of over 1000 singers from over 70 countries around the world.
Future Sir Karl Jenkins highlights include the composer conducting For the Fallen at a Lincoln Cathedral concert on 13 May commemorating the 80th anniversary of Operation Chastise, better known as the Dambusters Raid, with the Band of the Royal Air Force College and Lincoln Cathedral Choir. 2024 brings concerts around the world honouring Sir Karl Jenkins’s 80th birthday, including a UK tour conducted by the composer featuring the UK premiere of music from One World together with The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.
About Sir Karl Jenkins
Best-known for the global phenomenon Adiemus and his The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace, Sir Karl Jenkins is among the most performed living composers in the world. The Armed Man has had over 3000 performances worldwide since 2000, with the recording in the UK charts for 20 years.
Resisting categorization, his style and integrity has transcended musical boundaries: jazz with Soft Machine; award-winning ad soundtracks; composing music for HM The King; ‘cast-away’ on Desert Island Discs; joining Melvyn Bragg on his South Bank Show, and 5 million TikTok hits!
Sir Karl’s works continue to progress ideas concerning peace, tolerance and multiculturalism: Requiem, Stabat Mater, Gloria, The Peacemakers. His new oratorio One World will be released on Decca Records in 2023. He has 17 gold and platinum discs. He has composed for many of the great artists of our time including Sir Bryn Terfel, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Catrin Finch.
In 2015 and again in 2023, he was announced the most popular living composer in Classic FM’s ‘Ultimate Hall of Fame’: “As a composer he recognises no boundaries: musical, commercial, geographical, or cultural. His is a way of thinking and composing that is perfectly in tune with the spirit of the times”.
Along his journey, 2014 saw the inaugural ‘The Arts Club - Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award' to help young musicians; in 2015 he was knighted by HM Queen Elizabeth II and published his memoir, Still with the Music; in 2019 he was sculpted by the Royal Sculptor, Frances Segelman; and come the pandemic, in 2020 the virtual ‘Stay At Home Choir’ with 7000 singers drawn from 73 countries, performed The Armed Man and Adiemus.
> Sir Karl Jenkins at Boosey & Hawkes
> Sir Karl Jenkins website
About Boosey & Hawkes
Boosey & Hawkes, a Concord company, is the world’s leading publisher of contemporary classical music. Its blue-chip catalogue of 20th-century masters includes Bartók, Bernstein, Britten, Copland, Prokofieff, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Strauss and Stravinsky alongside an eminent front list of composers that includes John Adams, Unsuk Chin, Anna Clyne, Brett Dean, Detlev Glanert, Osvaldo Golijov, HK Gruber, Karl Jenkins, Elena Kats-Chernin, Magnus Lindberg, James MacMillan, Steve Reich, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Eric Whitacre.
About Concord Music Publishing
Concord Music Publishing is a global, full-service, independent music publisher offering bespoke creative support from its A&R, Synchronization and Marketing teams and diligent administration by its in-house Copyright, Licensing, Income Tracking and Royalty departments. Based in Nashville with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London and Berlin, Concord Music Publishing owns or administers more than 800,000 copyrighted musical works. Spanning nearly two centuries of song, through a vast array of genres and territories, Concord represents the world’s most celebrated songwriters, composers and lyricists.
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> Further information on Work: Over the Stone
Photo: Rhys Frampton