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The 9th Malcolm Arnold Festival
October 18th and 19th at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Director's Letter:
Welcome to the 9th Malcolm Arnold Festival. Nine year’s on and still going strong! In fact I’m presently organising what is going to be the spectacular 10th Festival! 17th and 18th October 2015 – Put those dates in your diary right away! 

This year’s Festival we’ve entitled ‘A Kaleidoscopic Imagination’. For that is what Malcolm’s was. It’s given us scope for a wide-ranging and very colourful and varied collection of events.

So we have a real mix of Arnold, straddling so many of those different genres he loved and contributed to so effectively. We have some film music, music for the ballet, works for orchestra, chamber ensembles and instrumental music.  Special mention must be made of the ‘The Open Window’. We’re featuring a very rare performance of ‘The Open Window’ with the full orchestral accompaniment. This may only be the second time it’s been performed in this way, but do let me know if you know of other performances. We are hugely pleased to welcome back the Berkeley Ensemble for this performance. Another delightful feature will be a local school who will be performing their own version of the Saki tale.

Last year we began featuring Malcolm’s concertos. This year we have another assortment including those for horn, flute, oboe, trumpet and the first clarinet concerto again played by the great Julian Bliss who gave such a thrilling performance of the second concerto last year.

Other highlights – and we always have many of these – will be the launch by John Wallace, who not only gave the first performance of Malcolm’s Trumpet Concerto, but will be playing it again for us at the launch concert with the Northampton Symphony Orchestra. We’re delighted that the Malcolm Arnold Academy will also be appearing at the launch. The great young violinist Giovanni Guzzo will be giving a recital to include both Malcolm’s Violin Sonatas. Alice Pinto returns to give an illustrated recital on the piano music. John Kehoe is talking about the famous Conifer Classics recordings that he produced. And for the first time, we are also moving into the state of the art Errol Flynn Cinema for a special event, ‘The Forgotten Films’ narrated by BBC star John Griff. Claire Thompson and Scott Mitchell will give a vocal recital of some of the fascinating songs based on many of the films that we will see excerpts from.

And the Gala Concert is going to be magnificent in the extreme! Not only do we have Julian playing Malcolm’s 1st Clarinet Concerto, we also have the BBC young musician of the year, Martin James Barlett playing a real favorite of Malcolm’s, Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto and Julian again playing a brilliant new work, ‘Fantasy on a theme by Malcolm Arnold’ by great friend of the Festival Toby Young.

So – all in all, another supreme Festival to look forward to.  See you all there!

Paul Harris
Director, Malcolm Arnold Festival

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