Annual Malcolm Arnold Festival set to return

Malcolm Arnold Festival
Malcolm Arnold Festival

The 13th annual Malcolm Arnold Festival is back this month to celebrate the life of the prolific Northampton composer.

The Consummate Communicator is the theme of the festival which takes place on Saturday, October 13 and Sunday October 14 at Royal & Derngate.

It will be launched by the Lord-Lieutenant for Northamptonshire and Pro-Chancellor of Northampton University, David Laing and this year’s festival includes music for ballet, cinema, television and radio, opera, brass band and the concert hall.

This year’s Gala Concert on the Sunday will feature the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by their Chief Guest Conductor, Keith Lockhart.

The programme has an American flavour, acknowledging Leonard Bernstein’s centenary this year with a performance of his classic, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.

It will feature Julian Bliss who will be the soloist in Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto and Arnold’s virtuosic Scherzetto.

Malcolm Arnold’s Symphony No.4 will bring the festival to a close.

The festival’s Family Concert this year will feature Hilary Davan Wetton conducting the Malcolm Arnold Festival Strings in a programme which will include Malcolm Arnold’s Recorder Concerto.

It will feature soloist Tabea Debus and a new work, Song of the Red Kite, by Timothy Bowers.

Return visitors to the festival will be the Rushden Town Band and the acclaimed Northamptonshire County Youth Orchestra.

This year’s roster of guest speakers includes David Mellor, who campaigned to obtain the composer his knighthood, festival regular and local broadcaster, John Griff with a talk on Forgotten TV and Radio, and Timothy Bowers who will be introducing Malcolm Arnold’s one-act opera The Dancing Master, prior to a rare concert performance, performed by a group of some of today’s most renowned young singers and conducted by John Andrews.

Tickets for the Gala Concert on the Sunday evening cost from £16 with weekend tickets for the rest of the festival costing £15 or £7.50 for day tickets excluding the Gala Concert.

For more information or to book, call 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk