Weekend celebrates top Northampton composer

Malcolm Arnold Festival
Malcolm Arnold Festival
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The eleventh annual Arnold Festival takes place at Royal & Derngate this weekend.

Set across two days, the event will be a celebration the life and work of the prolific Northampton-born composer Sir Malcolm Arnold.

This year’s celebration will feature a performance by the BBC Concert Orchestra, along with a programme of performances, films and talks.

Sir Malcolm Arnold’s music was hugely popular during the 1950s. His work had a major influence on 20th century British music.

This year’s event is entitled The Voice of the People and aims to reflect the breadth of his talent.

Guest over the weekend include guitarist Craig Ogden, trumpeter John Wallace and pianist Alice Pinto. The Festival will be launched by popular film composer, Nigel Hess.

There will be performances by The Janus Ensemble, the Jenny Dyson Wind Quartet and the Northamptonshire County Youth Orchestra, along with a medley of Songs from the Films featuring soprano Claire Thompson and a talk on The Forgotten Documentaries by BBC Radio Northampton’s John Griff.

Legendary trumpet player John Wallace, together with the four winners of his new Malcolm Arnold Fantasies competition, will perform the composer’s Brass Quintet.

A family concert on the Saturday afternoon will feature a specially commissioned work by Timothy Bowers being performed together with Arnold’s Carnival of Animals by the Northampton Symphony Orchestra

The Gala Concert will showcase works of two of the giants of the 20th century when Arnold’s Guitar Concerto and Serenade with soloist Craig Ogden, and Symphony No.6 are performed alongside Sir William Walton’s classic film scores from Hamlet and his Spitfire Prelude and Fugue.

Tickets for the Gala Concert on Sunday, October 16, cost from £5 to £18, with weekend tickets for the rest of the festival cost £15 and day tickets for £7.50, excluding the Gala Concert. For a full schedule or to book, call 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.