|The 17th International Malcolm Arnold Festival 2022|
‘The Dancing Master’
Director, Paul Harris
8th – 9th October (Live in London)
30th October (FREE and Live-streamed from around the UK)
The 17th International Malcolm Arnold Festival 2022
‘The Dancing Master’
Director, Paul Harris
8 – 9 October (Live in London)
30 October (Live-streamed from around the UK)
One of England’s most colourful and charismatic composers – Sir Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006) – is to be celebrated across three days during October in the 17th International Malcolm Arnold Festival; an annual programme of events centred around the multi-faceted composer and his music, this year taking place live in London as well as in digital format.
Previously based in the city of the composer’s birth, Northampton, this year’s Festival is one of the most ambitious yet for Festival Director Paul Harris, with something to reach out to every listener both in person – with concerts, a masterclass and talks – as well as online, with performances from locations around the UK linked to the composer’s eventful life.
Paul Harris says “This year’s Festival will be in two halves, one live and one online as a response to popular demand. We’ve called the Festival ‘The Dancing Master’ after Malcolm’s wonderful one-act opera. The concept of dance was such an inspiration to Malcolm – so much of his music contains vibrant and elaborate rhythmic dance movement. Dominic Wheeler, who conducted the first stage performance of the opera, will be reliving that experience at the live Festival and all Malcolm’s sophisticated and splendidly colourful sets of Dances will form the main content of the online day.”
Gala opening concert – St. Barnabas Church, Ealing, Saturday 8th October
The Festival opens in St. Barnabas Church, Ealing, West London on Saturday 8th October at 7:30pm with a live performance of some of Malcolm Arnold’s most jubilant and tuneful music performed by the Ealing Symphony Orchestra, conducted by their Musical Director, Arnold champion and long-time Festival Maestro, John Gibbons. On the programme are the composer’s ‘Homage to the Queen’, Divertimento No.2 – and a unique opportunity to hear his Trumpet Concerto, played on the composer’s own instrument by soloist Nick Budd. Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, a favourite of Malcolm’s, provides a suitably exuberant work to complete the evening.
Live music continues at the Royal College of Music, Sunday 9th October
On the following day, Sunday 9th October, the Festival moves to the composer’s alma mater; the Royal College of Music (RCM) in South Kensington, for a day of live music-making celebrating the composer’s links, and launched by broadcaster and former politician, David Mellor, who was responsible for the composer’s Knighthood and regularly plays his music on air.
Bookending the day’s programme are two concerts showcasing some of Malcolm Arnold’s finest works for string orchestra and chamber ensemble, including concertos and the Ukrainian Folk Variations performed by the RCM String ensemble conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton.
Dominic Wheeler, head of opera studies at the Guildhall School of Music, will provide an illustrated insight into The Dancing Master; Arnold’s one-act opera that was considered ‘too bawdy for family audiences’ at the time, and from which there will be live excerpts.
Cellist, Julian Lloyd Webber, will give a masterclass on the Fantasy for Cello; a piece dedicated and written for him by the composer in 1987. This will be followed by a talk on Malcolm Arnold’s fellow student and friend, Ruth Gipps, and their time at the College, and whose works are now making a welcome return to the concert platform.
Live-streamed and FREE-to-view ‘Online Day’ – Sunday 30 October
A day of live music-making, available free-to-view online, will broadcast from a number of locations across the UK and Ireland that were of importance to Malcolm Arnold and inspired some of his most memorable music. Included in the programme are performances of all of Malcolm’s ‘Dances’:
English Dances performed by Northampton County Youth Orchestra.
Welsh Dances performed by members of the Royal Welsh Conservatoire.
Scottish Dances – performed by The Orchestra of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior Department.
Cornish Dances and Padstow Lifeboat performed by the St Dennis Band in Cornwall, including members who played in the premiere of the work in 1967.
Irish Dances performed from where Malcolm lived in the 1970s.
Paul Harris said ”Connecting with listeners across the globe in this way is something Sir Malcolm would have greatly relished. Music for Malcolm was an act of communication, in his lovely words, ‘a gesture of friendship’. This online day which features many performances, fascinating interviews and short films should provide a wealth of entertainment and intrigue.”The 17th International Malcolm Arnold Festival – ‘The Dancing Master’
Saturday 8 October, 7:30pm
St. Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, London W5 1QG
Homage to the Queen
Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Ealing Symphony Orchestra
John Gibbons, Conductor
Nick Budd, Trumpet
Sunday 9 October
Performance Hall, Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS
A day of live music-making, including concerts, a masterclass and talks, celebrating the work of Malcolm Arnold:
Morning, from 10:30am
Arnold for Five
The Dancing Master (talk with live extracts)
Masterclass with Julian Lloyd Webber
Afternoon, from 2:30pm
Malcolm and Ruth Gipps at the RCM
60th Anniversary Films
A Final Feast
Tickets can be purchased for both the morning and afternoon sessions at £12 each.
Sunday 30 October – Online Day
Live-streamed and FREE-to-view, the Festival links up with performances around the UK from places linked to the composer.