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Karl Jenkins

Karl Jenkins

Broadcast

First broadcast: Sun 10 Dec 2006

Jazz musician, Composer

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Britain's most successful contemporary composer, Karl Jenkins. He is most famous for developing a style that fuses his classical background with his interest in jazz and world music and his albums top the charts around the world. He was brought up in a small Welsh village and, after his mother died, lived with his father, grandmother and widowed aunt. His father taught him the piano when he was a child and in his teens he gravitated towards the oboe and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music.

His first musical career was as a jazz musician - he won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival and played venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall and Ronnie Scott's. In the 1980s, he gave up life on the road and started writing advertising music and jingles. More awards followed, but he felt cramped by the nature of the work and wanted to write music that was more expansive. A track which he'd written for a minute long commercial went on to become the corner-stone of his most well-known work, The Adiemus Project.

He's said that it was only then that he realised his niche lay in composing work that was grounded in his classical upbringing but also benefited from his interest in jazz and world music. And, while critics have on occasion sneered at his work, he has collected countless gold and platinum discs and a worldwide audience.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Choices

Richard Wagner

1.

Richard Wagner

Prize Song (from Die Meistersinger von N├╝rnberg)

Orchestra: Placido Domingo with the Orchestra of the German Opera of Berlin Conductor: Eugen Jochu

Others who chose this artist

Johann Sebastian Bach

2.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor - 1st movement

Soloist: Marieke Blankestijn, Douglas Boyd Orchestra: The Chamber of Orchestra of Europe Conductor: Alexander Schneider

Others who chose this artist

Gustav Mahler

5.

Gustav Mahler

Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor - 4th movement (Adagietto)

Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor: Klaus Tennstedt

Others who chose this artist

Karl Jenkins

7.

Karl Jenkins

The Benedictus from the Armed Man: A Mass for Peace

Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra

Others who chose this artist

Richard Strauss

8.

Castaway's favourite

Richard Strauss

Marie Theres'! Hab' mir's gelobt (Act 3 Trio) (from Der Rosenkavalier)

Soloist: Kiri Te Kanawa, Anne Sofie Von Otter and Barbara Hendricks

Others who chose this artist

Book

The Michelin Guide to France by Michelin

Others who chose this author

Luxury item

A piano

Others who chose a similar luxury

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