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News - Sir Malcolm Arnold: The Voice of the People

Thursday, May 5, 2016
2016 marks the tenth anniversary of the death of the British composer Sir Malcolm Arnold. One of the towering musical figures of the twentieth century, Arnold created a remarkable catalogue of major concert works, including nine symphonies, seven ballets, two operas, one musical, more than twenty concertos and two string quartets, as well as music for brass band and wind band. He also wrote 132 film scores, which are some of the finest works for the medium: The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Hobson's Choice, Whistle Down the Wind and David Copperfield.

This October 15 and 16, the 11th Malcolm Arnold Festival: 'The Voice of the People' will take place in the composer's home town Northampton, opening with a launch by composer Nigel Hess. The weekend of events includes a family concert of orchestral music including A Grand, Grand Overture and Carnival of the Animals; chamber music concerts; songs from the films; talks from Alice Pinto and Kris Rusman, as well as a Gala Concert of Arnold and Walton performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by John Gibbons, to include the Concerto for Guitar & Chamber Orchestra with Craig Ogden as the soloist.

Full details of the festival can be found here.


Generation Y

The brand new ballet, Generation Y, choreographed by Antoine Jully and with music by Malcolm Arnold runs at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater in Germany until June 23. Oldenburg Ballet Company premiered the ballet on March 5.

In choosing Arnold's momentous and heartfelt Symphony No. 5, Jully explains, 'I am always looking for new music and new ways to think and to inspire myself...the Fifth Symphony gave me what I was looking for emotionally. It is a pure composition, with a wide colour panel of expressions.'

Performances: May 15 & 28 | June 16 & 23

View the score of Symphony No. 5
More information / Book tickets






Birmingham Royal Ballet

This month, Birmingham Royal Ballet's midscale tour includes Kenneth MacMillan’s Solitaire and David Bintley’s Flowers of the Forest, each using Arnold's music. The tour takes them to Cheltenham, Poole and Truro from May 8-18.

View the score of Four Scottish Dances
Watch the trailer


Malcolm Arnold Recordings

Marking the tenth anniversary this year of the composer's death, Sony have re-released Sir Malcolm Arnold: The Complete Conifer Recordings box set. Central to this treasure trove are the nine symphonies conducted by Vernon Handley during the 1990s.

The Malcolm Arnold Fantasy Competition, initiated by brass group The Wallace Collection, selected four outstanding brass musicians to contribute to a recording project and perform at the Malcolm Arnold Festival on October 15 2016. The recording will bring together Arnold’s works for brass, to create a CD, Arnold for Brass, which will be released under The Wallace Collection/Nimbus Alliance label at the festival.

Read more


Arnold Archive at Eton College

A substantial collection of Arnold manuscripts has been deposited on loan at Eton College Library and is now available to scholars for research. The archive has been catalogued on the Eton College Collections online database and brings together material previously on loan to the Royal College of Music with privately held manuscripts.

The archive consists of autograph music scores, letters to Arnold from noteworthy contemporaries, several scrapbooks, sheet music owned by Arnold and photograph albums. The archive gives a unique insight into the compositional processes of this major last British composer of the twentieth century.

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