Saturday 25 April 2020 marked the 20th Anniversary of the world premiere of Sir Karl’s The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace. The work was premiered at The Royal Albert Hall, London, on 25 April 2000, featuring The National Youth Choir of Great Britain with Julian Lloyd Webber as the cello soloist. This performance launched the beginning of 20 years of ‘Classic FM Live’ which was due to be marked at the Royal Albert Hall this April, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, only to be cancelled due to COVID -19.
Since the premiere, The Armed Man has had close to 3000 performances across the globe (averaging over two per week since the millennium) including a performance, by Sir Karl, in New York, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The work has featured regularly in the Classic FM Hall of Fame, ranking highly as one of the nation’s favourite pieces of contemporary classical music and has been in the Classical chart for fifteen years.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, celebrations have still been in full swing to mark the anniversary…
DECCA records has launched an array of opportunities for lovers of Sir Karl’s music, including a chance to take part in the first music video for the renowned ‘Benedictus’ from The Armed Man. Listeners have been invited to share photos and videos of things that allow them a moment of peace and tranquility. Submissions will then be chosen at random to create the first music video. DECCA has also compiled a special 20th anniversary playlist for all to enjoy: https://karljenkins.lnk.to/ArmedMan20WE.
On 27 April 2020, cellist HAUSER invited audiences to tune into a streaming of his ‘Alone, Together’ concert which featured Sir Karl’s ‘Benedictus’. The special performance, dedicated to the amazing efforts of all the frontline workers around the world during the Corona outbreak, was filmed in HAUSER’s hometown in the iconic Arena Pula, Croatia, and was made available for listeners in their homes. The #stayhome concert is still available here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eYuUAV4YE4&src=.
There have also been a number of virtual projects around the world, bringing musicians and singers together at this time in celebration of Sir Karl’s The Armed Man. One particularly notable offering was from Argentinian choir, Cantoria de la Merced, who won the Karl Jenkins Motets prize in 2015, under the direction of conductor Santiago Ruiz. Please enjoy their ‘Benedictus’ here:
There are more exciting things to come in celebration of The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace so stay tuned for updates.