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Sir Karl set for Freedom of the city

Sir Karl Jenkins, Wales' greatest living composer, is set to receive the highest honour his home city of Swansea can bestow later this year.

Sir Karl Jenkins

Swansea Council agreed unanimously on Thursday to grant Penclawdd-born Sir Karl the Freedom of Swansea.

His inauguration is due to take place at the Brangwyn Hall on October 4 and he'll be following in the footsteps of former Wales football manager Chris Coleman, John Charles and armed forces units with links to the city like The Welsh Guards, HMS Scott and 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards.

Full Council gave its backing for the Freedom of the City for Sir Karl in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in music, including his 'Adiemus' sound which secured him a multi-album deal with the Decca record label last year.

Rob Stewart, Leader of the Council, said: "Sir Karl is one of the most famous performing artists in the world today. His music crosses geographical, cultural and musical boundaries like no other.

"You can pigeon-hole almost any musical artist into a genre, but you can't do that to Sir Karl. Over the years he's enjoyed success in genres as diverse as classical, rock, country and western and jazz.

"He's written opera and his musical range includes Western European orchestral to synthesised sound design."

Cllr Stewart added: "As one of the most-performed artists in the world today, the Council is proud to be recognising the fact that it all began in a little seaside village on Gower."

Sir Karl has won world-wide acclaim, selling millions of albums around the globe and has won numerous awards for his services to music, including an OBE and CBE. He is the only Welsh composer to have been knighted.

In September, almost a century since the end of World War I, his famous 'The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace' is being performed at Central Hall, Westminster, featuring Lesley Garrett. It's been performed an average of twice a week since it premiered back in 1999. It has been in the UK classical charts for 15 years and is one of many compositions which has helped secure his place in Classic FM's Hall of Fame.

The Freedom of Swansea is the highest civic honour it is possible for the city to bestow.

Over the years, those who have received it include former President Jimmy Carter, the late Lord Callaghan, the late John Charles, Mel Nurse, Chris Coleman and the late 'Monty', Viscount Montgomery of El Alamein.

More information about Sir Karl Jenkins' career can be found at

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