You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. See this year's festival »
The music of Sir Karl Jenkins transcends boundaries of style, genre, language and nationality to communicate a profoundly moving message of peace. His works include The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, performed over 1500 times in 20 countries.
Join Sam Jackson, Classic FM’s Managing Editor and Sir Karl’s biographer, as he interviews Sir Karl about his life, work and influences.
A contemporary classical composer with huge popular appeal, learn about Sir Karl’s musical and personal journey from childhood to knighthood. The event includes a performance of some of his best-loved works by The Willow Consort.
A 2011 global survey shows that Sir Karl Jenkins (CBE D.Mus. FRAM LRAM) is now the most performed living composer in the world. He was raised in Penclawdd, educated at Gowerton Grammar School, Cardiff University and the Royal Academy of Music, London.
His style and integrity has transcended musical boundaries, encompassing jazz-rock with Soft Machine, the global ‘crossover’ phenomenon Adiemus, soundtracks for Levis and British Airways, while stopping off along the way to score a Kiefer Sutherland movie, be a castaway on BBC Desert Island Discs, be featured by Melvyn Bragg on the ITV seminal South Bank Show and be awarded the Freedom of the City of London. His recordings include Requiem, Stabat Mater, Quirk, Gloria, Te Deum and The Peacemakers, while he has composed music for HRH The Prince of Wales, Bryn Terfel, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Evelyn Glennie and the London Symphony Orchestra among many others.
Since 2004, Sir Karl has consistently been the highest placed living composer in Classic FM’s Hall of Fame. In November 2009 he was given the Cymru For The World Award and in March 2010 was honoured with the Hopkins Medal given by the St David’s Society for the State of New York. He has since been awarded the Order of Merit - Knight’s Cross by the President of Hungary, the President’s Medal in Kosovo, and established The Arts Club - Sir Karl Jenkins Award, to help young musicians entering the profession.
Sir Karl holds the Classic FM Red f award for ‘outstanding service to classical music’ and was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty The Queen in the 2005 New Year’s Honours List and a CBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours List ‘for services to music’. He was knighted in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Sam Jackson is Managing Editor of Classic FM, responsible for the station's entire on-air output. His role also includes oversight of Classic FM's music policy, programming of the Classic FM Live concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, and work across Classic FM's range of books, downloads and album releases. Sam caught the radio bug while at university, where he undertook a placement at BBC Radio York.
Founded in 2014, The Willow Consort is an exciting new chamber choir based at the University of York, directed by Danny Purtell. They perform a wide range of repertoire from Renaissance to contemporary works.