First Minister honours Cantata Memoria


In reaction to the news that Sir Karl Jenkins and Mererid Hopwood were presented with the First Minister’s Special Award at the St David Awards last night, 23 March 2017, the Chief Executive of S4C Ian Jones said:

"I congratulate Sir Karl and Mererid very warmly. Their feat in creating Cantata Memoria: For the children was to crystallise both the mourning and the hope of a nation.

"Aberfan was at once both a deeply personal and national event and there is a duty on a public broadcaster to record the collective memory of the nation – through Cantata Memoria, Karl and Mererid succeeded in bring the nation together, a tribute to those that were lost and hope and light for those that survived. In addition to performing in the Wales Millennium Centre and the broadcast on S4C the work was performed in the Carnegie Hall, New York, sharing with the world Wales’ pain and hope.

"As the one that commissioned the work, I’m very proud of the creative success of Cantata Memoria and congratulate Sir Karl and Mererid sincerely on this highly deserved award."


Notes to editors:

Cantata Memoria: For the children was commissioned by Welsh language broadcaster S4C to mark 50 years since the Aberfan disaster.

The premiere performance was part of a memorial concert at Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday 8 October 2016.

Performing was bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, harpist Catrin Finch, euphonium soloist David Childs, violinist Joo Yeon Sir with Sinfonia Cymru. With choirs Côr Heol y March, Côr y Cwm, Ysgol Gerdd Ceredigion, Côr Caerdydd, Côr CF1 and Cywair.

The premier was broadcast on S4C on 9 October, produced by Rondo Media.

The work was released as an album by Deutsche Grammophon and was number one in the Official Classical Artist Album Chart.

Cantata Memoria was performed at New York's Carnegie Hall on 15 January 2017.

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