Andrew Lloyd Webber composes new anthem for King Charles coronation

An anthem written by Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of 12 new pieces of music commissioned by King Charles for his coronation.

Lord Lloyd-Webber, who is known for hit musicals including The Phantom Of The Opera, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar, said he was “incredibly honoured” to have been given the opportunity to compose a new anthem.

He told the Press Association: “My anthem includes words slightly adapted from Psalm 98.

“I have scored it for the Westminster Abbey choir and organ, the ceremonial brass and orchestra.

The maestro also said he hoped the anthem “reflects this joyous occasion” when the new king is crowned.

Lloyd Webber, 74, was among those who travelled to Buckingham Palace to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II, after her death in September last year.

In a tribute posted to Twitter, he honoured the queen as “the most extraordinary ambassador” and thanked her for “all she has done”.

Charles’s coronation is scheduled to be held on 6 May, and Charles has personally selected the musical programme for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

It has reportedly been curated to showcase the diversity of musical talent and styles from across the country and the Commonwealth.

King Charles and Andrew Lloyd Webber (Getty Images)
King Charles and Andrew Lloyd Webber (Getty Images)

Six orchestral commissions, five choral commissions and one organ commission have been created by British composers whose styles include classical, sacred, film, television and musical theatre.

A Coronation March has been created by Patrick Doyle, while a piece by Iain Farrington for the solo organ takes in musical themes from countries across the Commonwealth.

There will also be new works by Sarah Class, Nigel Hess, Paul Mealor, Tarik O’Regan, Roxanna Panufnik, Shirley J Thompson, Judith Weir, Roderick Williams, and Debbie Wiseman.

Further, the monarch has asked for Greek Orthodox music to be played in tribute to his late father, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died in 2021. It will be performed by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble.

Music which has been played at coronation services over the past four centuries will also be part of the programme, along with the work of Sir Karl Jenkins, one of the most-performed living composers in the world.

The historical sounds will include music by the likes of William Byrd, George Frideric Handel, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Henry Walford Davies, Sir William Walton, Sir Hubert Parry and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Additional reporting by Press Association.