Karl Jenkins

Welsh composer and performer Karl William Pamp Jenkins was born on 17 February 1944 in Penclawdd into a Swedish-Welsh family. He studied at Cardiff University and at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

He began his career by playing flute, keyboards, oboe and saxophones in the high profile jazz-rock band Soft Machine and became their lead songwriter. He has also worked with other bands and has written music for advertising campaigns.

He became well-known as a composer through his 1995 crossover project album Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary, which used lyrics in an invented language, and has since produced various well-known and popular works, including The Armed Man and, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Aberfan disaster,  Cantata Memoria: For the children.


A selection of articles about Karl Jenkins

Spotlight. Compelling Throughout - Gerald Fenech warmly recommends Karl Jenkins' 'The Armed Man'. '... the performance is one of the most moving I've heard in recent times ...'

Classical music news - Jess Gillam - The British saxophonist and her ensemble join Intermusica Artists' Management Ltd

Ensemble. Present-day Concerns - Mike Wheeler listens to music by Valentin Silvestrov and Karl Jenkins

Ensemble. Packed With Good Things - Roderic Dunnett reports from the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester

CD Spotlight. Ravishingly Beautiful - Karl Jenkins' Cantata Memoria, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a deeply moving experience ...'

CD Spotlight. Ethereal and Beautiful - Karl Jenkins' 'The Peacemakers', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... some rather inspired music.'

CD Spotlight. A Mixed Bag - Boston String Quartet's 'Xibus', reviewed by Howard Smith. 'What all this signifies is not at all clear.'

Ensemble. Energy and Exuberance - Music by Haydn, Karl Jenkins and Vaughan Williams, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Four Strings to his Violin - Many strings to his bow ... Howard Smith reports on Marat Bisengaliev's third tour of New Zealand

Ensemble. Striking sonorities - Twentieth-century British music, sung by Derby Choral Union, and reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Old and new - The first public appearance of a new chamber choir, reviewed by Mike Wheeler