UK

King commissions 12 new pieces of music for coronation – including anthem by Andrew Lloyd Webber

King Charles has commissioned 12 new pieces of music for his coronation – including an anthem by award-winning composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The monarch has personally selected the musical programme for the ceremony, which will take place at Westminster Abbey on 6 May.

The programme has been designed to showcase a range of musical talent and styles from the UK and the Commonwealth.

Greek Orthodox music will also be played as a tribute to his late father, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, who was born in Greece, into the Greek and Danish royal families.

It will be performed by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble.

One of the pieces of music has been composed by Lord Lloyd Webber, best known for hit musicals including The Phantom Of The Opera, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar.

The 74-year-old said he was “incredibly honoured” to have been asked to compose a new piece, adding: “I hope my anthem reflects this joyful occasion”.

He said the anthem includes words slightly adapted from Psalm 98 and has been scored for the Westminster Abbey choir and organ, the ceremonial brass and orchestra.

In total, six orchestral commissions, five choral commissions and one organ commission have been created by British composers.

A Coronation March has been created by Patrick Doyle, while a piece by Iain Farrington for the solo organ takes in musical themes from countries across the Commonwealth.

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There will also be new works by Sarah Class, Nigel Hess, Paul Mealor, Tarik O’Regan, Roxanna Panufnik, Shirley J Thompson, Judith Weir, Roderick Williams, and Debbie Wiseman.

A hand-picked gospel choir – The Ascension Choir – will also perform as part of the service.

Andrew Nethsingha, organist and master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey, who is taking charge of the musical arrangements and directing the music during the service described it as a “privilege” to collaborate with the King.

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Sir Antonio Pappano, music director for the Royal Opera House, who will be conducting the Coronation Orchestra, added: “His Majesty has chosen a most beautiful and varied programme that I believe will enhance the splendour of this very special celebration.”

Around 2,000 guests are expected to attend the King’s coronation, which will be broadcast live on television.

It is thought Charles’s coronation will be shorter than his mother’s – lasting just over an hour instead of three.

But it will still consist of the traditional six parts to the coronation – the recognition, oath, anointing, investiture, enthronement and homage.

Queen Consort Camilla will also be crowned.

However, her crown will not contain the controversial Koh-i-Noor diamond over concerns it would serve as an unwelcome reminder of the British Empire.

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