The 15th Malcolm Arnold Festival
Director, Paul Harris
17 – 18 October 2020
Live-streamed and FREE to view

‘A Man of the People’ is the theme of this year’s Malcolm Arnold Festival; the annual celebration of the multi-faceted composer and his music.  
Available online for the first time, listeners will be able to join proceedings via the website portal over 17th – 18th October 2020:
Directed by Paul Harris and launched this year by Professor Colin Lawson, Director of the Royal College of Music where Malcolm Arnold studied, the event will be broadcast from the Festival Director’s studio using pre-recorded events inter-cut with both live and recorded music and informative introductions and discussions.  Free-to-view, audiences will be invited to donate to the Festival’s charity, who’s objective is to advance the understanding and appreciation of Malcolm Arnold’s music.

‘A Man of the People’
Historically, the Festival has taken place in the composer’s birthplace, Northampton, in and around the town’s dedicated arts’ venue, Royal & Derngate; itself closed for the foreseeable future due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

“The Malcolm Arnold Festival is one of the eagerly anticipated annual events taking place at the venue which contribute towards the life-blood of arts festivals in the Northamptonshire region”, said Paul Harris, Festival Director, who will be introducing the programme. 

“Disappointing though it is not to be able to welcome our audiences in person, our online presence is providing a great opportunity to focus on a wealth of smaller chamber pieces every bit as inventive as the composer’s larger works he is perhaps better known for, and to reach out to listeners across the globe, something Sir Malcolm would have relished.”

“This year’s theme, ‘A Man of the People’, sums up the essence of Malcolm’s drive; he was a consummate communicator and had a deep desire to reach the widest audience possible through his music”, said Mr. Harris.

Amongst the recital performers recording especially for the event will be flutists Jenny Dyson and Emma Halnan who are featuring in, amongst other works, Arnold’s Wind Divertimento and his Trio for Flute, Viola and Bassoon.  Peter Fisher will give a violin recital, whilst Roger Coull will be joined by pianist Lynn Arnold for the Violin Sonata No. 2.  The Amos Miller Brass Quintet will perform Three Shanties and the first Brass Quintet, whilst pianist Scott Mitchell will be performing selections from the ballet The Three Musketeers.

Classical guitarist, Hugh Millington, will be marking the half-century of the Fantasy for Guitar, edited by Julian Bream, who gave the first performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in May 1971.  And signing off in style will be a recording of the exuberant Fantasy for Audience and Orchestra; a work commissioned by the BBC for performance at the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ in 1970.

Discover more about Sir Malcolm Arnold
A selection of Guest Spots will allow for discussion of the composer’s works and his colourful life.  Illustrated talks, from Janet Hilton on working with Malcolm Arnold; Ellie Fox on Gordon Jacob, his fellow composer at the Royal College of Music, and from composer Timothy Bowers, will also contribute to this informative strand.

This year’s roster of guest speakers will include local broadcaster and Festival regular, John Griff, who will be focussing on Malcolm Arnold’s work with film director, David Lean.  Credited with writing over 100 film scores, this was a particularly fruitful genre for the composer and in 1957 he won an Academy Award for the music to Lean’s epic The Bridge on the River Kwai.  Other collaborations with David Lean included The Sound Barrier (1952) and Hobson’s Choice (1954).

Looking ahead, ‘Malcolm Arnold 100’ will be an international celebration for the composer’s Centenary in 2021.

Access the online Festival via this link:

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