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Jenkins premieres by Evelyn Glennie and the LSO

Over the coming months Karl Jenkins has new works toured by Evelyn Glennie, included in the Wales Millennium Centre opening celebrations, and premiered by the London Symphony Orchestra

On 23 November Evelyn Glennie premieres Karl Jenkins's new work, La Folia, which combines the composerís twin fascinations with baroque music and percussion. The score was commissioned by IMG Artists (UK) Ltd and Glennie gives the first performance at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. In the coming months La Folia is toured around the UK with the City of London Sinfonia, the Manchester Camerata and the Northern Sinfonia, amounting to 15 performances. The first London performance is at St Johnís Smith Square on 26 November within a fund-raising Royal Gala for Music in Hospitals. Dutch performances are planned in March 2005 in Enschede and Eindhoven. Please see below for tour dates.

La Folia arranges music by Arcangelo Corelli into a 15-minute work for marimba and strings. The original Folia was an Iberian dance whose tumultuous rhythms drove the participants towards madness. The tune reached its peak of popularity in the late 17th century and it was actively taken up by leading baroque composers including Lully, Corelli and Bach. The Corelli version has stimulated a further generation of arrangers including Rachmaninoff and Ponce, while arrangers of the original theme range from Paganini to Vangelis.

Jenkins is a great admirer of baroque music, incorporating its figuration and rhythmic energy into many of his works, most noticeably Palladio for strings. In turn his modern-baroque fusion has attracted the advertising industry, including the now-classic usage of Palladio in the De Beers ĎA Diamond is Foreverí campaign. Jenkins is a skilled writer for percussion, experimenting during his time with Soft Machine and blending orchestral and world music percussion in the Adiemus series. La Folia is his second work for Evelyn Glennie, following Metallum composed in 2000.

Jenkins commission for Welsh Millennium Centre opening gala

The music of Karl Jenkins features prominently in the opening weekend programmed by Bryn Terfel at the Welsh Millennium Centre, Cardiffís new flagship arts centre. The events reach their climax with a Royal Gala Concert on 28 November, featuring the premiere of Jenkinsís In these stones horizons sing in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH Prince Charles. The work is scored for baritone, harp, jazz soloists, massed choirs and orchestra, and combines the talents of baritone Bryn Terfel, harpist Catrin Finch, saxophonist Nigel Hitchock, four winning choirs from the CŰr Cymru 2003 competition, and the Welsh National Opera orchestra.

One of the movements is also the main anthem for the Welsh Millennium Centre, to be heard when the key unlocks the door on 26 November. It sets music to Gwyneth Lewisís words which are dramatically etched into the slate exterior of the arts centre: "In These Stones Horizons Sing". The other three movements employ texts by Menna Elfyn and a poem by Grahame Davies celebrating the Welsh slate mining industry. Celtic influences remain central to Jenkinsís output: he was born inPenclawdd near Swansea, studied music at the University of Wales in Cardiff, and is today widely regarded as the countryís most successful international composer.

Sir Colin Davis conducts LSO in Jenkinsís centenary Quirk

Karl Jenkins is one of the four composers who have been commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra to create concertante works to celebrate the orchestraís centenary season in 2004/05. His 20-minute score, titled Quirk and scored for flutes, keyboards, percussion and orchestra, is premiered under the baton of Sir Colin Davis on 6 February at the Barbican. The three concertante soloists are LSO principals Neil Percy (percussion), Gareth Davies (flutes) and John Alley (piano).

Karl Jenkins: La Folia
performances by Evelyn Glennie

Northern Sinfonia / Bradley Creswick
11 Jan University Arts Centre, Warwick

Manchester Camerata / Richard Howarth
12 Jan Derngate Centre, Northampton

Northern Sinfonia / Bradley Creswick
14 Jan The Sage, Gateshead
15 Jan am The Sage, Gateshead
15 Jan Town Hall, Leeds
16 Jan The Anvil, Basingstoke
17 Jan Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
20 Jan Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
21 Jan Sands Centre, Carlisle

Manchester Camerata / Richard Howarth
22 Jan Victoria Theatre, Halifax

City of London Sinfonia / Nicholas Ward
24 Feb Central Theatre, Chatham
5 Mar Enschede (Dutch premiere)
6 Mar Philips Music Centre, Eindhoven


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