Hull scraps music library for a Karl Jenkins commission

Hull scraps music library for a Karl Jenkins commission


norman lebrecht

January 24, 2017

Could you possibly make it up?

Hull Philharmonic Society has financed the (Jenkins) commission with support from Hull 2017 and insurance money after the loss of its music library in the Christmas 2013 tidal surge.

“We decided not to replace the old music, but to create something new for 2017, so some good has come out of adversity,” said musical director Andrew Penny. “It is a major coup for the orchestra to attract a composer of Sir Karl’s stature.”

MADE IN HULL: From left, Jonathan Scott, Andrew Penny and Sir Karl Jenkins.

More here.


  • David Osborne says:

    I think this time I’ll just make some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show…

  • John Borstlap says:

    Penny-wise and pound-foolish.

  • Tom Moore says:

    after all there’s so much public domain music that you can print out free.

  • Jaybuyer says:

    I’m biting my lip ….

  • Halldor says:

    What’s the story here? They’ve already lost the library. No amateur orchestra today, starting from scratch, would bother to build one. Pretty much the entire standard repertoire can be downloaded for free, in clean copies. Repertoire in copyright still has to be hired. Orchestral libraries, for amateur groups, are albatrosses, requiring storage and constant maintenance by volunteers, and generally being little more than repositories of forgotten repertoire from 50 years ago that few groups today wish to play. Why throw resources into storing and maintaining yellowing sets of Ballet Egyptien when you’re aiming to play Shostakovich 10?

    And for amateurs to commission a living composer is a major undertaking – to be commended, even if the composer isn’t one whom you or I would have chosen,

  • Holyfield Worthington says:

    On a very professional level I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jenkins briefly at a London recording session. He, with absolutely nothing to gain in any conceivable way, couldn’t have been more gracious and generous with his time and insight. A sincere gentleman, and an honest artist. So happy to see these fund put use in a way that will provide work for UK musicians, and infuse energy into our reality today.. Way to go!!

    • Catherine says:

      I play in the Hull Philharmonic and have also had the pleasure of meeting Sir Karl – I can confirm everything you say Holyfield Worthington is true. In addition, the orchestra members are having a superb time rehearsing the new piece. It’s a breath of fresh air.

  • Alexander says:

    Were Arvo Pärt, Pēteris Vasks, and Sofia Gubaidulina busy?

  • Rich C. says:

    Biggest Hull controversy since Hull City AFC wanted to change their name to Hull Tigers?

  • Don Kennedy says:

    What a dreadful decision! How many times will this new work be performed? Once only probably. Compare with the potential of re-creating a library full of music, ready to be performed for years to come…

  • Oliver says:

    Routine spat between the dinosaurs and the Philistines . On this occasion, the Philistines are in the right.

  • Giles says:

    It will all be worth it if Hull gets a mention every time this commission gets played on Karl Jenkins Radio (sorry, I mean Classic FM).