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Karl Jenkins: Bio

Karl Jenkins was born in the small Welsh coastal village of Penclawdd on the Gower Peninsula West of Swansea. Karl is the only child of his father David and his mother Lily, who was of Swedish extraction. His father, a school teacher, was also an organist and choirmaster of the local Tabernacle Chapel and it was he who began teaching his son the piano when Karl was six years old. During these formative years, apart from being introduced to the classical world by his father via recordings and the occasional concert, he was also, as part of chapel life, exposed to the unique sound of Welsh hymn singing,
echoes of which are to be heard
in future compositions.

On entering Gowerton Grammar School at eleven, Karl began to play the oboe and within the next few years progressed through the Glamorgan Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, Cardiff, where he read music, taking a Bachelor of Music degree. During his school and university years he became increasingly interested in jazz (playing saxophone) which was to have a significant bearing on his compositional style in later years. After graduating, he continued post graduate studies at the Royal Academy
of Music, London.

Following his studies he won awards as a jazz oboist and multi-instrumentalist, working with, amongst others Ronnie Scott. He co-founded Nucleus in 1972, winning first prize
at the Montreux Jazz Festival, before
joining Soft Machine.

1 Pitran, patran  
2 Then Silence  
3 Cortege  
4 Lament for the Valley  
5 Lacrimosa Lullaby  
6 Did I hear a bird?  
7 Satin Feathers  
8 And-a-Half  
9 And once upon a time  
10 When the shadow dies  
11 Lux Aterna  
Karl Jenkins on Karl Jenkins

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster in Wales, Sir Karl Jenkins has composed a major new choral work, Cantata Memoria – For The Children,to be released on a Deutsche Grammophon album on 7th October and premiered at the Wales Millennium Centre the following day.  The concert will feature some of Wales' most celebrated artists including Bryn Terfel, Catrin Finch, Elin Manahan Thomas, David Childs, as well as contributions from Michael Sheen and Siân Phillips. Cantata Memoria was commissioned by S4C, the Welsh language TV channel, to mark 50 years since the Aberfan disaster, when 116 children and 28 adults lost their lives after a colliery waste tip collapsed and engulfed Pantglas school and nearby houses, devastating the local community in South Wales.

28 TOTAL
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