28 Facts About Karl Jenkins


Karl Jenkins's best known works include the song "Adiemus" and the Adiemus album series; Palladio; The Armed Man; and his Requiem.


Karl Jenkins joined the jazz-rock band Soft Machine in 1972 and became the group's lead songwriter in 1974.


Karl Jenkins continued to work with Soft Machine up to 1984, but has not been involved with any incarnation of the group since.


Karl Jenkins has composed music for advertisement campaigns and has won the industry prize twice.


Karl Jenkins was born and raised in Penclawdd, Gower, Wales.


Karl Jenkins's mother was Swedish, and his father was Welsh.


Karl Jenkins received his initial musical instruction from his father, who was the local schoolteacher, chapel organist and choirmaster.

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Karl Jenkins studied music at Cardiff University, and then commenced postgraduate studies in London at the Royal Academy of Music.


Karl Jenkins joined jazz composer Graham Collier's group and later co-founded the jazz-rock group Nucleus, which won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1970.


The album Six, on which Karl Jenkins first played with Soft Machine, won the Melody Maker British Jazz Album of the Year award in 1973.


Karl Jenkins won the miscellaneous musical instrument section.


The albums in which Karl Jenkins performed and composed were Six, Seven, Bundles, Softs and Land of Cockayne.


Karl Jenkins was the group's primary composer on Seven and the subsequent three albums.


Karl Jenkins has created advertising music, twice winning the industry prize in that field.


Karl Jenkins composed a classical theme used by De Beers diamond merchants for their television advertising campaign focusing on jewellery worn by people otherwise seen only in silhouette.


Karl Jenkins later included this as the title track in a compilation called Diamond Music, and eventually created Palladio, using it as the theme of the first movement.


Karl Jenkins has conducted the Adiemus project in Japan, Germany, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, and Belgium, as well as London's Royal Albert Hall and Battersea Power Station.


In 2014 Karl Jenkins released a tribute song for the 2014 Winter Olympics, performed by his new age music group called Adiemus.


Karl Jenkins was the first international composer and conductor to conduct the University of Johannesburg Kingsway Choir led by Renette Bouwer, during his visit to South Africa as the choir performed his The Armed Man: A mass for peace together with a 70-piece orchestra.


Karl Jenkins composed the music for the 2012 BBC Wales series The Story of Wales presented by Huw Edwards.


Many of the songs written by Karl Jenkins have specifically-written phonetic lyrics, but they are not in any language.


Karl Jenkins was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by the University of Wales in 2006.


Karl Jenkins has been made both a Fellow and an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2003, and a room has been named in his honour.


Karl Jenkins has been awarded an honorary doctorate in music by the University of Leicester, the Chancellor's Medal by the University of Glamorgan and honorary visiting professorships at Thames Valley University, London College of Music and the ATriUM, Cardiff.


Karl Jenkins was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2005 New Year Honours and promoted to Commander of the same Order in the 2010 Birthday Honours, in both cases for services to music.

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Karl Jenkins is joint president of the British Double Reed Society and Patron of the International Schools Choral Music Society.


In 2016 Karl Jenkins received the BASCA Gold Badge Award for his unique contribution to music.


Karl Jenkins' work was performed at the coronation of King Charles III in 2023, with Karl Jenkins in attendance.