Karl Jenkins (born 17 February 1944) is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from Wales. The song "Adiemus" and the Adiemus album series are among his most well-known works, as are Palladio, The Armed Man, and his Requiem. Jenkins received his musical education at Cardiff University and the Royal Academy of Music as a fellow and associate member. In 1972, he joined the jazz-rock band Soft Machine, and in 1974, he became the band's primary songwriter. Jenkins remained a member of Soft Machine until 1984 but has not been associated with the group since then. Jenkins has composed music for commercial campaigns and has twice won an industry award. Karl Jenkins was born and raised in the Welsh town of Penclawdd in Gower. He was taken to a Swedish mother and a Welsh father.
Jenkins' father, a local schoolteacher, chapel organist, and choirmaster, gave him his first musical lessons. Gowerton Grammar School was his alma mater. Jenkins studied music at Cardiff University and then went to the Royal Academy of Music in London for postgraduate study. Jenkins graduated from the University of Wales with a doctorate in music. He has been named a fellow and associate of the Royal Academy of Music and has a chamber named after him. He has also received fellowships from Cardiff University, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Trinity College Carmarthen, and Swansea Metropolitan University. Jenkins' The Armed Man was voted No. 1 in Classic FM's "Top 10 by Living Composers" poll in 2008. He received an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Leicester, the University of Glamorgan's Chancellor's Medal, honorary visiting professorships from Thames Valley University, London College of Music, and the ATriUM in Cardiff. In the 2005 New Year Honours, Jenkins was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and in the 2010 Birthday Honours, he was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In addition, he was named a Knight Bachelor in 2015. Jenkins is a patron of the International Schools Choral Music Society and a joint president of the British Double Reed Society (ISCMS). Jenkins was awarded the BASCA Gold Badge Award in 2016 for his outstanding contribution to music.
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