Arnold Festival returns to Northampton this weekend

The 12th Malcolm Arnold Festival takes place this weekend, with music, films and talks across two days cumulating with a performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 10th October 2017, 8:59 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 9:28 pm
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

The theme of this year’s festival is Abounding in SIngable Tunes.

This year’s closing concert at Royal & Derngate on Sunday, October 15, will see the RPO, under conductor John Gibbons, performing a premiere of Arnold’s Symphony No. 5. It will also feature Edvard Grieg’s piano concerto performed by Latvian pianist Arta Arnicane.

Malcolm Arnold composed the music to more than 100 films.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Among the most famous are Bridge On The River Kwai and Heroes Of Telemark.

Both will be featured in the show and it will be the first ever performance of the latter in a concert hall. Music is from 7.30pm. Adult tickets cost £35 with concessions available.

Other highlights of the two days will include a performance of Arnold’s rarely played Harmonica Concerto by the young soloist Philip Achille and a major choral and orchestral work, The Return Of Odysseus, which will be played at the launch concert.

The weekend will also feature a recital of Arnold’s songs by Scottish soprano Claire Thompson and an interview with Dame Monica Mason, former director of the Royal Ballet, on Arnold’s work as a ballet composer.

Broadcaster John Griff will present his illustrated talk on The Forgotten Documentaries.

Opening the Festival this year will be David Mellor, who campaigned to obtain the composer his knighthood.

Weekend tickets cost £15 or £7.50 for a day tickets. Gala tickets must be bought separately.

For full details of this year’s event, visit

On Saturday, October 14 Killer Queen heads to the venue.

Fronted by Patrick Myers as Freddie Mercury, Killer Queen have been touring across the world since 1993. Music from 7.30pm, tickets from £22.50.

Next Friday, The Karen Sharp Quartet featuring Nikki Iles headline as part of the venue’s new Friday Jazz Nights series. Music from 8pm, tickets cost £13.50.

Tickets are still available for Amy Macdonald who headlines the venue on October 29 as part of an intimate UK tour.

The singer songwriter’s fourth album Under Stars was released in February and charted at number two on the UK album charts.

Music from 7.30pm, tickets cost from £37. Booking conditions apply.