Paul McCartney has gone classical. The former Beatle will return to his hometown of Liverpool in June for the premiere of his first classical composition, "Liverpool Oratorio."

The work is the semi-autobiographical tale of the life of a Liverpool war baby and was written with conductor Carl Davis. McCartney won't be part of the performance but it will star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and some 200 musicians and singers when it is performed in Liverpool Cathedral.McCartney says writing the piece was challenging because he had no experience in classical music as a child. "This has all been very fresh and exciting for me," he said.

"I didn't hear much of it because when it came on the radio my father used to turn it off because he liked jazz. But that is actually an advantage for me because as I'm not familiar with the work of Shubert or Beethoven or Delius, I can write my own tunes without worrying whether they are sounding too much like some classical composer's."