June 10, 2016

Milestone 2000th performance of The Armed Man to take place at Royal Albert Hall

The world's most performed living composer honoured with his choral masterpiece in a limited edition of 2000 copies.

The recently-knighted Sir Karl Jenkins returns to London's Royal Albert Hall on 3 July to conduct the 2000th performance of one of his best-loved works, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. To celebrate the landmark 2000th performance, Warner Classics releases a numbered, strictly limited run of a special edition CD+DVD set. This highly sought-after and collectable release, out 1 July, includes the complete original recording together with a DVD concert performance captured live from St David's Hall, Cardiff. It also includes the additional work For the Fallen: In Memoriam Alfryn Jenkins, exclusive to this edition and featuring special guests Hayley Westenra and veteran character actor and comedian, Bernard Cribbins OBE. This release will be available exclusively on Amazon UK.

This popular choral and orchestral work was commissioned by the Royal Armouries Museum as part of the millennium celebrations and was given its world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in April 2000.

The work is now performed, on average, twice a week around the world. The album has never left the classical charts and has achieved seventeen gold and platinum disc awards, proving it to be a modern favourite in Britain and further afield. This piece explores themes of war, peace and racial and religious tolerance, and incorporates, in words and music, cultural influences from all over the world.

“When I started on this last phase of my career,” says Sir Karl Jenkins, “with Adiemus in 1995 and then The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace for the millennium, it was inconceivable, then, as to where this would lead. The Armed Man developed a core of supporters for a couple of years, but then burgeoned on a global scale. It is with incredible pride, and no small degree of disbelief and humility, that we celebrate the 2000th performance on 3 July at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Choral Society and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

"Warner Classics is releasing a special limited edition of 2000 CDs, marking each performance. I have conducted only a fraction of these performances, but there have been some memorable occasions where I have witnessed how my music can move and unite performers and audiences, such as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in New York. The message of peace and tolerance, which I originally conceived in the wake of the war in Kosovo, has proved to be one that people find universal. In the years since the Royal Albert Hall premiere, performances have taken place on all habitable continents. Sadly, there are no fewer wars in the world today than when I wrote The Armed Man, yet I continue to hope that performances will inspire reflection and provide solace. 

Patrick Lemanski, Head of Warner Classics UK, says, “Bravo Karl! One of the reasons I joined Warner Music was to be able to work with the label’s vast and extraordinary catalogue, including the music of Sir Karl Jenkins. I have always admired his large-scale works and his ability to bring music to an ever-wider audience. We have been working together to present his fans with this fantastic new limited edition of The Armed Man, with its distinctive look and the inclusion of the DVD of the concert he conducted himself at St David’s Hall in Cardiff. It will make a beautiful item for collectors and fans all over the world.”

The limited, numbered CD+DVD edition of The Armed Man will be available from 1 July exclusively from Amazon UK (while stocks last)

Click here to pre-order your copy


Enter the chance to win Armed Man concert tickets, signed score and limited edition CD+DVD, plus the chance to meet Sir Karl after the performance

Click here to enter (UK residents only)

Karl Jenkins Armed Man 2000