Buckingham Palace announces details of the music for the Coronation

20th February 2023

Buckingham Palace has just announced details of the music which will be performed at the Coronation.

Choristers from Truro Cathedral Choir have been invited to join the choirs of Westminster Abbey and HM Chapel Royal Choir, St James’s Palace to sing at the coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort on Saturday 6 May.

Coronation Music Announced

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Personally selected by HM The King, the music has been chosen to showcase talent from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth and a range of musical styles and performers, blending tradition, heritage and ceremony with new musical voices to reflect The King’s life-long love and support of music and the arts.

The Interim Dean of Truro, Simon Robinson, said:

“We are honoured that some of our choristers have been invited to be part of the choir at the Coronation.
“What an amazing opportunity this is for these young Cornish musicians whose singing enhances our worship here at Truro Cathedral throughout the year.
“Their success is a testament to their skill and dedication, as well as the support of Truro School and our cathedral music team.”

Andrew Nethsingha, the Abbey’s Organist and Master of the Choristers, will direct the music at the service and oversee all musical arrangements.

Among the music will be twelve new commissions, all composed for the occasion by world-renowned British composers from the worlds of sacred, classical, theatre, film and television music. They include a Coronation Anthem by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a Coronation March by Patrick Doyle, a commission for solo organ by Iain Farrington, and new works by Sarah Class, Nigel Hess, Paul Mealor, Tarik O’Regan, Roxanna Panufnik, Shirley Thompson, Judith Weir, Roderick Williams and Debbie Wiseman.

The Service will be sung by The Choir of Westminster Abbey and The Choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, together with girl choristers from the Chapel Choir of Methodist College, Belfast, and from Truro Cathedral Choir.

The Ascension Choir, a handpicked gospel choir, will also perform as part of the service, and The King’s Scholars of Westminster School will proclaim the traditional ‘Vivat’ acclamations.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner will conduct The Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists in a pre-service programme of classical music.

Sir Antonio Pappano, Music Director for the Royal Opera House, will conduct the Coronation Orchestra, made up of specially selected musicians from the orchestras of The former Prince of Wales’ Patronages including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Fanfares will be played by The State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry and The Fanfare Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force.

Soloists will include bass-baritone, Sir Bryn Terfel; soprano, Pretty Yende; and baritone, Roderick Williams.

The organ will be played by the Abbey’s Sub-Organist, Peter Holder, and before the service by its Assistant Organist, Matthew Jorysz.

The Official Royal Harpist, Alis Huws, will perform as part of the Coronation Orchestra in recognition of The King’s long standing and deeply held relationship and affiliation with Wales. One of the liturgical sections of the ceremony will be performed in Welsh, while a second item will include sections in three Celtic languages.

At the request of His Majesty, in tribute to his late father His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Greek Orthodox music will also feature in the service performed by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble. Music by the likes of:

  • William Byrd (1543 – 1623)
  • George Frederic Handel (1685 – 1759)
  • Sir Edward Elgar (1857–-1934)
  • Sir Henry Walford Davies (1869–1941)
  • Sir William Walton (1902–1983)
  • Sir Hubert Parry (1848–-1918)

has often featured in coronations over the past four centuries and will be included in the programme along with the music of one of Britain’s most loved and celebrated living composers, Sir Karl Jenkins.

Looking ahead to the service, Andrew Nethsingha said:

‘All coronation services are a mixture of deep-rooted tradition and contemporary innovation. As was the case in the four twentieth-century coronations, the choice of music reflects the cultural breadth of the age in which we live. Coronations have taken place in Westminster Abbey since 1066. It has been a privilege to collaborate with His Majesty in choosing fine musicians and accessible, communicative music for this great occasion.’