King Charles's Coronation Concert: who performed and what music was played at the Windsor concert?
One of the main events of King Charles's Coronation was the Coronation Concert, the day after the ceremony itself, on May 7 at Windsor Castle. But which performers and music featured?
After the pomp and pageantry of the Coronation on 6 May, the next big event was the Coronation Concert on 7 May. Held at Windsor Castle, this musical celebration of a new era featured performances from major classical and pop musicians alike.
There was also a set from Gareth Malone and his specially formed Coronation Choir. You may have seen the BBC TV programme Sing for the King, broadcast on Friday 5 May, which documented how this unique, bespoke choir came together.
Here, we look back at the music that featured on that very special day.
When and where did the Coronation Concert take place?
King Charles’s Coronation Concert took place at Windsor Castle on Sunday 7 May 2023, the day after the coronation itself.
What was the Coronation Concert?
The concert, broadcast live on the BBC, featured some of the world’s biggest entertainers, performers from the world of dance, a laser and drone lightshow as well as spoken word performances from stars of stage and screen - appropriate, given Charles’s love of Shakespeare.
Was it open to the public?
Yes. The BBC held a national ballot, which led to 5,000 members of the public receiving a pair of free tickets for the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle.
Who were the performers?
Andrea Bocelli and Bryn Terfel performed a duet.
Other performers included the Coronation Choir, a group comprising amateur singers and members of the UK’s community choirs, including refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups and deaf signing choirs. They joined The Virtual Choir, which is made up of singers from across the Commonwealth, for a special performance on the night. The choirs were conducted by Gareth Malone.
There was also a 74-piece orchestra, led by the Massed Bands of the Household Division and joined by the Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra.
Ballet, opera and Shakespeare were also performed by the Royal Ballet, Royal Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal College of Art, who all joined forces for a spectacular performance.
What was ‘Lighting up the Nation'?
The centrepiece of the Coronation Concert, ‘Lighting up the Nation’ saw the country join together in celebration as iconic locations across the United Kingdom are lit up using projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations.
Photo: Getty Images
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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.