Sir Karl Jenkins is a Welsh multi-instrumentalist and contemporary composer. He is Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), Knight Bachelor, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music (FRAM), and Honorary Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (HonFSLW). Jenkins performs on baritone/soprano saxophones, oboe, and keyboards. In May 2023, he commissioned "Tros y Garreg" ("Crossing the Stone" in English), one of twelve new works for the coronation of Charles III.
Jenkins grew up in Penclawdd village in Gower, born to a Swedish mother and Welsh father. His father was a chapel organist and choirmaster who gave him his first music lessons. He began playing oboe in the National Youth Orchestra Of Wales during high school. He got formally educated at Cardiff University and later studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Early in his career, Jenkins was primarily known as a jazz and fusion/jazz-rock saxophonist, oboist, and keyboard player. He co-founded Nucleus band which won several prizes including Montreux Jazz Festival's first prize. Jenkins also played with Soft Machine, a prog/jazz-rock/fusion band from Canterbury formed by Mike Ratledge. In addition to his work as a musician, Jenkins has composed soundtracks for commercials and created orchestral new-age albums with