World Premiere and Album Release of Karl Jenkins's The Peacemakers
New Work for Chorus and Orchestra Highlights Message of Peace with Texts by Iconic Figures
Karl Jenkins – one of the world’s leading choral composers – will see the world premiere and album release of his new creation, The Peacemakers in January 2012. This new hour-long work for orchestra and chorus extols the ideals of peace by incorporating texts from some of history’s iconic figures and symbols of peace and tolerance, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Anne Frank, and the Dalai Lama. The composer will conduct the world premiere in a portrait concert of his works at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Martin Luther King Day, January 16, 2012, produced by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY). EMI Classics will release a recording of The Peacemakers featuring the London Symphony Orchestra and other international artists along with a chorus of more than 1,000 members in the U.S. (January 2012) and Europe (March 2012).
The Peacemakers (2011) is performed in 17 short movements comprised in two parts. Each movement of the work brings forth a message of peace through quotes from some of histories greatest icons matched with the musical environment native to its origin. For instance, a bansuri (Indian flute) and tabla drums are used in the section honoring the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi and a shakuhachi (Japanese flute associated with Zen Buddhism) and temple bells area used in the passage noting the Dalai Lama’s inspiring words. The composer notes that the 13th century Persian mystic poet Rumi sums up the essence of the complete work: “All religions, all singing one song: Peace be with you.” The Peacemakers is performed alongside his 2008 violin concerto Sarikiz featuring soloist Jorge Avila and the U.S. premiere of “The Wooing of Étaín,” as part of DCINY’s fifth annual portrait concert of works by the Welsh composer. DCINY Artistic Director Jonathan Griffith conducts both Sarikiz and “The Wooing of Étaín.”
DCINY last presented music by Karl Jenkins on September 11, 2011, on the ten-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York. This concert was the flagship event of the Global Sing for Peace, which united choirs in 11 countries on five continents to perform his popular The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. There will be a second Global Sing for Peace campaign in 2012, commencing with The Peacemakers premiere.
Following its world premiere at Carnegie Hall, The Peacemakers will be introduced to U.K. audiences on a four-concert tour conducted by the composer in May 2012: Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall hosts the European premiere on May 19 and the tour travels to London’s Royal Festival Hall on May 20, Cardiff’s St. David’s Hall on May 23 and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on May 27.
The EMI Classics recording of The Peacemakers brings together an international consortium of artists, including the Rundfunkchor Berlin, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Youth Choir and the Really Big Chorus, with violinist Chloë Hanslip, soprano Lucy Crowe and the London Symphony Orchestra, all conducted by the composer. Additionally, vocal scores of The Peacemakers will be published by Boosey & Hawkes in Spring 2012.
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Photo credit: Rhys Frampton