“Karl Jenkins has to be one of the most multi talented and popular composers of our time.”

The Hon Richard Lyttleton, former President EMI Classics

Sir Karl Jenkins

Sir Karl’s ‘The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace’ ranked No.4 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2024

Sir Karl’s ‘The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace’ ranked No.4 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2024


Sir Karl’s ‘The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace’ has been voted Britain’s favourite piece of contemporary Classical music in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2024 – the largest poll of the world’s favourite classical music. Ranked no.4, this is the piece’s highest ever position in the list.

Jack Malvern of The Times reports: “He is only the third living composer to reach that position since the chart began in 1996”.

The Armed Man continues to enchant audiences globally. It recently achieved the landmark of 3000 performances around the world and has been in the UK classical chart for over 1000 weeks.

Commissioned by the Royal Armouries for the millennium, The Armed Man is based on the 15th century French poem, L’homme armé, and remains a powerful and moving reflection on the horror of war and its consequences. Particularly memorable events within the 3000 have included a performance in New York on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and in 2018 Jenkins conducted the work at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Berlin with the World Orchestra for Peace and a choir of 2000 from 30 countries, commemorating 100 years since the end of World War I. As well as the classic Decca recording of the version with full orchestra, a new recording of the ensemble version was recently released by Signum Records in honour of Sir Karl’s 80th birthday.

The Benedictus is perhaps the most recognisable movement with its distinctive soft cello solo, following by a soaring choral part. “It’s got an opening unlike any other,” Sir Karl explains. “It doesn’t sound like an introduction. It’s just these two chords stated.”

Karl Jenkins

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