60. Karl William Pamp Jenkins [365 Composers for 2013]


1st March – Karl Jenkins


Jenkins (born 17th February 1944) is our composer for 1st March, to mark St. David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales.
Nationality: Welsh
Lifespan: Still alive
Genre: Romantic
Education: Cardiff University and The Royal Academy of Music
Fame Ranking: 2

Karl Jenkins hails from Penclawdd, South Wales. Coming from a musical family, Jenkins received a musical education from a young age from his father, who was a chapel organist and choir master. Jenkins took up the oboe, and managed to gain a place at the very competitive National Youth Orchestra of Wales, before continuing his studies first at Cardiff University and later at the Royal Academy of Music. He also plays the saxophone and piano.

His early composing career was centred around jazz and jazz-rock music, and he also took part in the live studio performance of Mike Oldfield’s innovative “Tubular Bells” album. He progressed to writing music for advertising, a genre in which he excelled himself, winning awards twice for his music from D&AD . Some of his music has entered the public’s consciousness without them realizing it, such is the power of TV advertising. Jenkins’ “Palladio”, used to advertise de Beers diamonds is one example. (See below).

In the 1990s, Jenkins began his “Adiemus” project, which was a series of albums crossing over towards a more serious/classical style. In 1995 he topped the classical album charts, and has remained very popular since. Classic FM, the UK’s largest independent classical music radio station, gave Jenkins the top spot in 2008 for their “Top 10 by Living Composers” for his mass entitled “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace”. Jenkins is particularly connected with the Peace movement. At the time of writing, his latest work (released 2012) is entitled “The Peacemakers” and contains texts from many notable pacifist authorities, such as Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela.

Here is Jenkins’ “Palladio”:


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