World Premiere of Cenotaph Requiem


World Premier of Cenotaph Requiem composed by Commonwealth Music Ambassador Simon Haw MBE.

The CYO’s Commonwealth Scholars’ Choir and the Commonwealth Children’s Choir were hugely honoured to be invited to perform with the State Ceremonial Musicians, the Orchestra of the Household Division, in the world-premiere of Cenotaph Requiem composed by Simon Haw MBE.

This historic performance took place in Westminster as part of the Centenary Commemoration of the Armistice.

Thursday 1 November 2018

Cenotaph Requiem - Dedicated to All Who Served King and Country
Composed and Conducted by: Lieutenant Colonel Simon Haw MBE
Led by Senior Chaplain to the Household Division, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Dunwoody

Performed by:
Orchestra of the Household Division
Commonwealth Scholars’ Choir
Commonwealth Children’s Choir - directed by Captain Laura Stead

Executive Producer:
Sally Shebe
Commonwealth Music International


A Message from the Composer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Haw MBE

Cenotaph Requiem was written in the summer of 2018, to mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War 1914-1918.

The work uses a number of texts from the Latin Mass - Introit, Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Pie Jesu, In Paradisum - to form an overarching Requiem structure, interspersed with 5 instrumental movements - Marne, Gallipoli, Jutland, Somme, Passchendaele - that provide a chronological narrative of the First World War.

The Latin and Instrumental movements derive their thematic material from 3 motives first presented in the Introit, thereby linking the poignant, descriptive instrumental elements that portray the most appalling and heartfelt conditions endured by soldiers, sailors and airmen during the war, with moments of quiet reflection, solitude and prayer, found within the Latin text.

Cenotaph Requiem is intended as an epitaph to all who served in the First World War, but the enduring nature of warfare is constant, therefore in many ways, it should be regarded as a work for all time.


A Message on 1st November 2018 from The Reverend Stephen J H Dunwoody CF, Senior Chaplain London District and Chaplain to the Household Division

As we listen to Cenotaph Requiem, we are very much focussed on hearing and reflecting on our shared heritage, the commonality of our gratitude and the importance of recognising how the sacrifice of the past enables our future.

Art and music has always managed to bridge this dynamic of looking to the past in the present and to the future almost simultaneously.

Professor David Jasper writes:

"The vocation of the artist is to link the past and its inherited cultures and beliefs with the changing demands of the present and future.

Artists, instinctively religious, have always memorialized the past in the present by projecting it onto a possible and hopeful future. That is why art is so necessary for the wellbeing and health of the human soul."

As you listen, and as you are able, I would encourage you to join with the choirs and pray the sacred words of The Requiem and in doing so pray for salvation, understanding and respect for the soul of humanity.

Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord,

And let perpetual light shine upon them.