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Famous Like Me > Composer > J > Karl Jenkins

Profile of Karl Jenkins on Famous Like Me

Name: Karl Jenkins  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 17th February 1944
Place of Birth: Penclawdd, Wales, UK
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Karl Jenkins (born 1944) is a Welsh musician and composer.

Jenkins was born and raised in Penclawdd, Gower, Wales, just west of Swansea. His father, a local school teacher, organist and choir master gave him his initial musical instruction. Karl began his diverse musical career as an oboe player in the National Children's Orchestra. He went on to study music at University College, Cardiff, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He was known for the bulk of his early career as a jazz and jazz rock musician. He joined jazz composer Graham Collier's group and later co-founded groundbreaking jazz rock group Nucleus which won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1970. Later he joined Canterbury progressive rock band Soft Machine in 1972 and co-led them for several years until he departed the band in the mid-1970s. The group defied categorization and played venues as diverse as the Proms, Carnegie Hall, and the Newport Jazz Festival. The album on which Karl first played with Soft Machine 'Six' won 1st place in the Melody Maker British jazz album of the year award in 1973 where Karl also won first place in the miscellaneous musical instrument section (as he did the following year). Soft Machine were voted best small group in the Melody Maker jazz poll of 1974.

He created a good deal of advertising music, twice winning the industry prize in that field. Perhaps his most-heard piece of music is the classical theme used by De Beers diamond merchants for their famous television advertising campaign focusing on jewelry worn by people who are otherwise seen only in silhouette. He later included it as the title track in a compilation of various works called Diamond Music, and eventually created Palladio, using it as the theme of the first movement.

As a composer, his breakthrough came with the innovative crossover project, Adiemus. Jenkins has conducted the Adiemus project in Japan, Germany, Spain, Finland, Holland, Finland, and Belgium, as well as London’s Royal Albert Hall and Battersea Power Station. The Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary (1994) album sold well enough (topping classical album charts) to spawn a series of successors (each revolving around a central theme).

He was awarded the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honours list for 2005.

Partial list of works

  • Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary
  • Adiemus II: Cantata Mundi
  • Adiemus III: Dances of Time
  • Adiemus IV: The Eternal Knot
  • Adiemus V: Vocalise

And a Greatest Hits colletion:

  • The Best Of Adiemus

Other works:

  • Eloise (opera)
  • Imagined Oceans (1998)
  • The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace (1999)
  • Dewi Sant (2000)
  • Diamond Music (1996)
  • Merry Christmas to the World (1995) a collection of traditional Christmas music orchestrated by Jenkins
  • Over the Stone (2002) a double harp concerto
  • Ave Verum (2004) for baritone (composed for Bryn Terfel)
  • Requiem Mass (2005)
  • Quirk (2005) concertante
  • River Queen (2005) score for the film River Queen directed by New Zealand director Vincent Ward

External Links

  • Karl Jenkins
  • Mustache
  • Biography at Calyx (Canterbury music website)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Karl Jenkins