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The 17th International Malcolm Arnold Festival 2022 - The Dancing Master

8-9 October 2022 (live in London)
30th October (Free and Live-Streamed from around the UK)

The 17th of Paul Harris’s Annual Festivals (website) devoted to the life and music of Malcolm Arnold this year steps away from Northampton (Arnold’s birthplace) and the Derngate.

The first two days programmes will be held in London at St Barnabas Church and at the Royal College of Music. The Gala Concert at St Barnabas (8 October 2022) will include an Arnold-fest which has Homage to the Queen as its centrepiece and, in the second half, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique (a particular favourite with Arnold) The RCM concert day (9 October 2022) is crowned with chamber works, talks on Arnold’s opera The Dancing Master and about Arnold’s links with Ruth Gipps. There will also be a masterclass by Julian Lloyd Webber and an orchestral concert which includes the drop-dead gorgeous Oboe Concerto. The complete opera The Dancing Master has been recorded by Resonus Classics (review). I hope that we will be treated, before too long, to a recording of the very substantial fragment of Malcolm Arnold’s uncompleted opera Henri Christophe - deeply impressive and not at all lightweight.

At the other end of the month there is an Online Day, 30 October 2022, which comprises a live-streamed and free-to-view celebration with performances of all Arnold’s sets of National orchestral/band dances from around the UK and beyond. The Cornish Dances event includes the march The Padstow Lifeboat performed by the St Dennis Band which is to include musicians who played in the premiere of the work in 1967.

Rob Barnett

Festival Programme
St. Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, London W5 1QG
Malcolm Arnold:
Homage to the Queen
Divertimento No.2
Trumpet Concerto
Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Ealing Symphony Orchestra
John Gibbons, Conductor
Nick Budd, Trumpet

Performance Hall, Royal College of Music, London SW7 2BS
A day of live music-making, including concerts, a masterclass and talks, celebrating the work of Malcolm Arnold

Morning, from 10:30am
Arnold for Five:
Quintet for flute, violin, viola, horn and bassoon
Divertimento for Flute, Oboe and Clarinet
Three Sea Shanties for Wind Quintet
Wind Quintet
performed by RAM students
The Dancing Master (talk with live extracts)
Fantasy for Cello Masterclass, with Julian Lloyd Webber

Afternoon, from 2:30pm
Malcolm and Ruth Gipps at the RCM (talk)
60th Anniversary Films (an introduction to some of the film scores)
A Final Feast:
Concerto for Two Violins and String Orchestra (Soloists, Yume Fujise and Maja Horvat)
Concerto for Oboe and Strings
Variations on a Ukrainian folk song for strings

Tickets can be purchased for both the morning and afternoon sessions at 12 each

Live-streamed and free-to-view, the Festival links up with performances around the UK from places linked to the composer.
English Dances performed by Northampton County Youth Orchestra.
Welsh Dances performed by members of the Royal Welsh Conservatoire.
Scottish Dances performed by The Orchestra of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior Department.
Cornish Dances and Padstow Lifeboat performed by the St Dennis Band in Cornwall, including members who played in the premiere of the work in 1967.
Irish Dances performed from where Malcolm lived in the 1970s.

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