King Charles has personally chosen the music for his coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May.


On the programme are twelve newly-commissioned pieces of music, showcasing composers from across the UK and the commonwealth.

These include a new Coronation Anthem by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a Coronation March by Patrick Doyle, a new work for solo organ embracing musical themes from countries across the Commonwealth by Iain Farrington, along with new works by Sarah Class, Nigel Hess, Paul Mealor, Tarik O'Regan, Roxanna Panufnik, Shirley J. Thompson, Judith Weir, Roderick Williams and Debbie Wiseman. In total there will be six pieces for orchestra, five choral works and one instrumental work.

Lloyd-Webber, whose anthem will be set to the Biblical text of Psalm 98, has said that he hopes his anthem will reflect a 'joyful occasion.'

Elsewhere there will be music by Edward Elgar, William Byrd and George Handel, as well as Greek orthodox music in memory of the King's father, Prince Philip.

Among the soloists will be the baritone Roderick Williams, soprano Pretty Yende and Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel. The organ will be played by Westminster Abbey's Sub-Organist Peter Holder and Assistant Organist Matthew Jorysz. The Royal Harpist Alis Huws will perform as part of the Coronation Orchestra in recognition of the King's long-standing relationship with Wales. Part of the service will also be sung in Welsh.

Other performers include 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 Antonio Pappano will conduct the Coronation Orchestra and Sir John Eliot Gardiner will conduct The Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque soloists in a pre-Service programme of choral music. A small group of singers from The Monteverdi Choir will also join the main choral forces for the Service and all arrangements will be overseen by Andrew Nethsingha, Westminster Abbey Organist and Master of the Choristers.

Commenting on the programme, 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.'

Sir Antonio Pappano said: 'I am deeply honoured to have been chosen by His Majesty to participate in the musical presentations that will embrace the historic occasion of his Coronation. His Majesty has chosen a most beautiful and varied programme that I believe will enhance the splendour of this very special celebration.'


Photo: Getty


Hannah Nepilova is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine. She has also written for The Financial Times, The Times, The Strad, Gramophone, Opera Now, Opera, the BBC Proms and the Philharmonia, and runs The Cusp, an online magazine exploring the boundaries between art forms. Born to Czech parents, she has a strong interest in Czech music and culture.