Malcolm Arnold turns 85 on 21 October 2006. Admired as
a trumpeter, composer, and conductor, this contemporary
of Britten and Walton is a towering figure of
20th-century British concert music and film scores
("The Bridge on the River Kwai"). With so much to
celebrate, the festivities start this season!
This fall, the Birmingham Royal Ballet tours the UK
with Arnold’s choreographed work SOLITAIRE. The ballet
is based on Arnold’s popular work ENGLISH DANCES, and
includes additional movements that he wrote
specifically for the ballet.
In the coming months, Arnold’s music for dance receives
special attention. THE THREE MUSKETEERS premieres in
February 2006 at the Northern Ballet Theatre and will
run through May with over 50 performances. Arnold began
work on this ballet in 1975, but never finished it and
only jotted down a handful of rough sketches. With
choreography by David Drew — one of the original
collaborators — and music chosen by Arnold biographers
Tony Meredith and Paul Harris, the new ballet combines
music from Arnold’s symphonies, suites, and film
scores, as well as the most complete segment of the
original sketches. Also, Covent Garden’s Royal Ballet
has announced its revival of Arnold’s HOMAGE TO THE
QUEEN, which was written in 1953 as a piece d’occasion
in honor of the young Queen Elizabeth II. Frederick
Ashton originally choreographed this work, much of
which is now lost. However, the Royal Ballet has
commissioned three British choreographers to complete
the missing sections and will stage the work next June.
Looking ahead to Arnold’s birthday weekend in October
2006, the composer’s home town of Northampton hosts a
festival in celebration of the man and his music. With
chamber music and song recitals, the focus will also be
on orchestral works — a concerto prize concert, and an
all-Arnold concert performed by the Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra highlighting his Symphonies Nos. 2 and 7.
For help in planning your own tributes to this "grand
grand" man of music, contact us for an Arnold
orchestral CD sampler. To obtain a copy, send a request
Film Concert Suites available for premiere
BALLADE FROM "STOLEN FACE"
(piano and orchestra)
POSTCARD FROM THE MED
(from "The Captain’s Paradise")
SUITE FROM "NO LOVE FOR JOHNNIE"
SUITE FROM "TRAPEZE"