The 18th International Malcolm Arnold Festival 2023 – live and livestreamed in October

The 18th International Malcolm Arnold Festival 2023 
14 -15 October – Live in Northampton
29 October – Online Day (livestream from around the UK)

For more information CLICK HERE

One of England’s most colourful and charismatic composers – Sir Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006) – is to be celebrated across three days during October at the 18th International Malcolm Arnold Festival; an annual programme of events centred around the multi-faceted composer and his music. This year returning to the composer’s birthplace, the city of Northampton, there will be live music, talks and a masterclass over the weekend of 14-15 October, and broadcasting from around the UK as part of a specially procured programme will be a digital livestream day on Sunday 29 October.

Following the most ambitious Festival yet in 2022, Director Paul Harris is continuing both the live and digital format with something to reach out to all listeners – live concerts, talks, and a clarinet masterclass to be given by Emma Johnson MBE, and a specially conceived livestreamed day, linking up with performances from locations around the UK connected to the composer’s eventful life.

Festival Director, Paul Harris, says ‘This year’s Malcolm Arnold Festival, yet again, promises to be a real feast. As usual, we will be presenting a whole range of events from chamber concerts to full-scale symphonic works. We’re delighted to be holding the Festival at the very prestigious Cripps Hall which is part of Northampton School for Boys – the very school the young Malcolm Arnold attended!’

Audience favourites and new discoveries: Opening the Festival in style, on the afternoon of Saturday 14 October at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, will be the Enderby Band with a programme of music for brass by Malcolm Arnold, including audience favourites such as the Scottish Dances, Peterloo Overture and Padstow Lifeboat.

The Festival’s Gala Concert at St Matthew’s Church, also on Saturday, welcomes the return of the Northampton Symphony Orchestra, conducted by their Music Director and long-time Arnold champion, John Gibbons. On the programme is one of Malcolm Arnold’s lesser-known works which demonstrates his talent for working with more serious and dramatic themes; the suite from the one-act ballet, Rinaldo and Armida. Popular works by Tchaikovsky and Sibelius complete the programme.

FREE for students and under 18s: A packed programme of entertainment continues on Sunday 15 October, when the Festival moves to the composer’s school, Northampton School for Boys, for a day of live music-making and talks celebrating the composer’s links. Entrance is by way of a Day Ticket, which is FREE for students and those under 18.

Highlights include a clarinet masterclass when one of the world’s most esteemed exponents, Emma Johnson, takes three talented young performers through some of Malcolm Arnold’s most famous works for the instrument.

Live music continues throughout the day, with performances by the Nick Budd Brass Quintet and Northampton County Youth Concert Band, demonstrating the exuberance of Arnold’s works for brass and wind.

BBC Radio Northampton broadcaster and Malcolm Arnold devotee, John Griff, gives an insight into the composer’s famous film music.

Hilary Davan Wetton conducts the Festival’s Grand Finale concert which provides the opportunity to hear Malcolm Arnold’s Oboe Concerto, the haunting Serenade for Guitar and Strings and ever-popular Symphony for Strings performed by the LGT String Orchestra – an award-winning string ensemble featuring highly talented young soloists between the ages of 13 and 23 from over 20 nations.

‘Live-stream’ Day – Sunday 29 October : Live-streamed and FREE-to-view, this year’s celebration continues with a day of live and pre-recorded music-making and talks, 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. Featured in the programme are highlights from the composer’s five ballets, including a newly choreographed performance of a movement from Solitaire, and a special performance of Peacock in the Zoo with words by the young Katherine Arnold, the composer’s daughter.

Paul Harris said ‘Last year, which represented the second Festival in which we broadcast online, we attracted over 3,000 visitors! A wonderful way to spread Malcolm’s glorious music to an international audience. This year’s online day focusses on the ballets and we look forward to another exciting experience and reaching ever more Arnold enthusiasts around the world.’

Please see the website HERE for further information including the full programme of events.

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