The Official Malcolm Arnold Festival 2016
Letter from the Artistic Director, Paul Harris
The 11th Malcolm Arnold Festival
October 15th and 16th at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton
Paul Harris reveals some of this years' very special events…
Welcome to the 11th Malcolm Arnold Festival! Weve called it The Voice of the People - which of course sums up Sir Malcolms intentions as a composer. He was always determined to write music that could be immediately appreciated and although he embraced many 20th century isms, his music remains utterly accessible.
As usual, there are endless highlights, special events and special guests. Among them
We launch, on Saturday October 15th at 11am at our regular venue, the wonderful Royal & Derngate in Northampton, with composer Nigel Hess following in the footsteps of Hayley Mills, Robert Hardy, Tim Rice, John Wallace and all our other distinguished launchers! The Launch concert will include a performance of Song of Simeon Nicolas Chagrin, who played the very first Simeon in 1960, will be a very special guest and the World Premiere of Malcolms unfinished Opera, Henri Christophe in fact he only completed 27 pages of orchestral introduction. Well be hearing these pages for the first time ever!
At 12pm the great John Wallace will be performing the Brass Quintet with the 4 winners of his Malcolm Arnold Fantasies competition and each of those winners will be performing their respective Malcolm Arnold Fantasy. John will also be launching his new CD of Malcolms brass music. Should be quite an event!
After lunch, Alice Pinto returns to talk about Malcolms early music and we will be including yet more World Premieres! Some hitherto unheard songs from his Kensington Gardens collection. Well also be hearing a range of his other early music, including music for string quartet, piano, voice and oboe.
We then move for our annual visit to St Matthews, for our afternoon Family concert with the Northampton Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Gibbons. Highlights include the World Premiere of a specially commissioned work by Timothy Bowers to sit alongside Malcolms Carnival of Animals. Tim has called it Carnival of Carnivores and we look forward to both works with tremendous excitement! Were also including a rare performance of Malcolms Machines, The Grand, Grand Overture which will include one of the original vacuum cleaners. And well be hearing some music by our special guest Nigel Hess, from his film Ladies in Lavender.
In the evening, the excellent Jenny Dyson returns with her Wind Quintet to present a programme of all of Malcolms music for Wind Quintet, plus other Wind Quintets from the 20th century.
Sunday morning begins with a programme of orchestral music played by the marvellous Northamptonshire Country Youth Orchestra and this will be followed by Kriss Rusman (who, amongst many other things, made the wonderful BBC Omnibus programme about Malcolm) giving a talk on The Voice of the People.
After lunch, John Griff presents The Forgotten Documentaries where we shall hear some of Malcolms virtually unknown music. This will be followed by the return of Claire Thompson, who will perform some more songs from the films and other sparkling miniatures accompanied by flute and piano.
This will be followed by a very special concert, which will include another rare performance, this time of the Piano Duet Concerto, also the Clarinet Concertino and Toy Symphony with the Janus Ensemble conducted by Ben Palmer.
We are absolutely delighted to welcome back the BBC Concert Orchestra for the Gala concert in an Arnold and Walton programme the perfect match and Im expecting a sell-out! Among other items we have the wonderful Craig Ogden playing the Guitar Concerto, Symphony no.6 and Waltons Spitfire, Prelude and Fugue.
So theres a glimpse of what we have in store! And the Derngate are again offering tickets at fantastically generous prices. So book yours now! (01604 624811)
See you there!