The Info List - Malcolm Arnold

Sir Malcolm Henry Arnold, CBE (21 October 1921 – 23 September 2006) was an English composer. His output of works features music in many genres, including a cycle of nine symphonies, numerous concertos, concert works, chamber music, choral music and music for brass band and wind band. He wrote extensively for the theatre, with five ballets specially commissioned by the Royal Ballet, as well as two operas and a musical. He also produced scores for more than a hundred films, among these The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge on the River Kwai
(1957), for which he won an Oscar.


1 Early life 2 Career 3 Later years and death 4 Music

4.1 Film scores

5 Legacy 6 Honours and awards 7 Bibliography 8 References 9 External links

Early life[edit] Malcolm Arnold was born in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England, the youngest of five children from a prosperous Northampton
family of shoemakers. After seeing Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
play in Bournemouth, he took up the trumpet at the age of 12 and five years later won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music
Royal College of Music
(R.C.M.). At the RCM he studied composition with Gordon Jacob[1] and the trumpet with Ernest Hall. In 1941 he joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra[1] (LPO) as second trumpet and became principal trumpet in 1943. In 1941 he registered as a conscientious objector, and was initially exempted from military service conditional upon joining the National Fire Service, but in the event he was allowed to continue in the LPO. In 1944, after his brother in the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
had been killed, he volunteered for military service. When the army put him in a military band he shot himself in the foot to get back to civilian life; he remained in touch with the CO movement, giving a trumpet recital at the 1946 New Year party of the Central Board for Conscientious Objectors.[2] After a season as principal trumpet with the BBC Symphony
Orchestra he returned in 1946 to the London Philharmonic, where he remained until 1948, leaving to become a full-time composer.[1] Career[edit] Arnold began his career playing trumpet professionally, but by the age of 30 his life was devoted to composition. He was ranked with Benjamin Britten as one of the most sought-after composers in Britain.[3] His natural melodic gift earned him a reputation as a composer of light music in works such as some of his concert overtures and the sets of Welsh, English, Scottish, Irish and Cornish dances. He was also a highly successful composer of film music, penning the scores to over a hundred features and documentaries, including titles such as The Bridge on the River Kwai, Hobson's Choice and the St Trinian's series. His nine symphonies are often deeply personal and show a more serious side to his work, which has proved more controversial. Arnold also wrote a variety of concertos and chamber works, as well as music for the theatre including major ballets. Later years and death[edit] By 1961, Arnold had a reputation for being unpleasant, frequently drunk and highly promiscuous. He divorced his first wife in that year. His second wife was forced to take out a court order after they separated. After the divorce, he made two suicide attempts.[3] His later years saw a decline in both health and finances. In 1978 he was treated as an in-patient for several months in the acute psychiatric ward at the Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, London, and in 1979 he entered St Andrew's Hospital
St Andrew's Hospital
in his home town of Northampton
to be treated for depression and alcoholism. He overcame both, despite being given only a year to live in the early 1980s. He lived for 22 more years, albeit with a carer, Anthony Day, and completed his 9th and final symphony in 1986. By the time of Arnold's 70th birthday celebrations in 1991, his artistic reputation with the general public was recovering and he was even able to enjoy a triumphant appearance on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
to receive an ovation after a Proms
performance of his Guitar
Concerto.[4] Arnold died at the Norfolk and Norwich
University Hospital, Norwich, on 23 September 2006 aged 84, after suffering from a chest infection. That same day his last work, The Three Musketeers, was premiered in a Northern Ballet
Northern Ballet
production at the Bradford Alhambra. The score included no new music by Arnold, but excerpts from various of his compositions were arranged by John Longstaff. The original score was compiled by Anthony Meredith. A dispute was fought out over the royalties of Arnold's 9th Symphony. Anthony Day was granted rights, having been left a substantial part of Arnold's estate.[5] Music[edit] For a listing of Arnold's musical works, see List of compositions by Malcolm Arnold and Category:Compositions by Malcolm Arnold. Arnold was a relatively conservative composer of tonal works, but a prolific and popular one. He acknowledged Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz
as an influence, alongside Gustav Mahler, Béla Bartók
Béla Bartók
and jazz.[6] Several commentators have drawn a comparison with Jean Sibelius. Arnold's most significant works are generally considered to be his nine symphonies. He also wrote a number of concertos, including one for guitar for Julian Bream, one for cello for Julian Lloyd Webber, two for clarinet for Frederick Thurston and Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
respectively, one for harmonica for Larry Adler
Larry Adler
and one – enthusiastically welcomed at its premiere during the 1969 Proms
– for three hands on two pianos for the husband-and-wife team of Cyril Smith and Phyllis Sellick. His sets of dances — comprising two sets of English Dances
English Dances
(Opp. 27 and 33), along with one set each of Scottish Dances (Op. 59), Cornish Dances (Op. 91), Irish Dances (Op. 126), and Welsh Dances (Op. 138) — are mainly in a lighter vein and are popular both in their original orchestral guise and in later wind and brass band arrangements. The English Dances
English Dances
also form the basis for Kenneth MacMillan's short ballet Solitaire, and one of them is used as the theme music for the British television programme What the Papers Say (the Cornish Dances provide the theme music for the television programmes of the cook Rick Stein). Arnold also wrote some highly successful concert overtures,[7] including Beckus the Dandipratt (an important stepping stone in his early career), the strikingly scored Tam o' Shanter (based on the famous Robert Burns
Robert Burns
poem), the rollicking A Grand Grand Overture (written for a Hoffnung Festival and featuring three vacuum cleaners and a floor polisher, all in turn polished off by a firing squad in uproarious mock 1812 manner), and the dramatic Peterloo Overture (commissioned by the Trades Union Congress
Trades Union Congress
to commemorate the historic massacre of protesting workers in Manchester). Another popular short work is his Divertimento for Flute, Oboe
and Clarinet
(Op. 37). Arnold is also known for his relatively large number of compositions and arrangements of his own compositions for brass band. Film scores[edit] A prolifically successful composer for the cinema, Malcolm Arnold is credited with having written over a hundred film scores for features and documentaries between 1947 and 1969.[8][9] In 1957, Arnold won an Academy Award
Academy Award
for the music to David Lean's epic film The Bridge on the River Kwai. His two other collaborations with David Lean
David Lean
were The Sound Barrier (1952) and Hobson's Choice (1954), both of which were also resoundingly successful. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
(1958) won Arnold an Ivor Novello Award. Also during the 1950s — an especially prolific period for Arnold — he provided a series of successful scores for major British and American feature films, such as The Captain's Paradise
The Captain's Paradise
(1953), The Sea Shall Not Have Them
The Sea Shall Not Have Them
(1954), The Night My Number Came Up
The Night My Number Came Up
(1955), The Constant Husband
The Constant Husband
(1955), I Am a Camera (1955), 1984 (1956), Trapeze (1956), A Hill in Korea
A Hill in Korea
(1956), Dunkirk (1958), The Key (1958) and The Roots of Heaven (1958). He also wrote the music for the entire series of St Trinian's films, including The Belles of St Trinian's
The Belles of St Trinian's
(1954), which was a particular favourite with the composer. His 1960s scores included The Angry Silence
The Angry Silence
(1960), Tunes of Glory
Tunes of Glory
(1960), No Love for Johnnie
No Love for Johnnie
(1961), Whistle Down the Wind (1961), The Inspector (1962), The Lion (1962), Nine Hours to Rama (1963), Tamahine
(1963), The Chalk Garden (1964), The Thin Red Line (1964), Sky West and Crooked
Sky West and Crooked
(1965), The Heroes of Telemark
The Heroes of Telemark
(1965), Africa Texas Style
Africa Texas Style
(1967) and The Reckoning (1969). His last film score was for a star-studded version of David Copperfield (1969). Legacy[edit] He was the President of the Rochdale
Youth Orchestra until his death in September 2006. The Leicestershire Schools Symphony
Orchestra made the first commercial recording of Arnold's Divertimento for the Pye label in July 1967 and regularly performed many of his works in the UK and abroad. Arnold also conducted the orchestra in a 1963 De Montfort Hall concert that included his own English Dances
English Dances
and Tam O'Shanter. Malcolm Arnold wrote the Trevelyan Suite to mark the opening of Trevelyan College, University of Durham. His daughter was among the first intake of students. He conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the recording of Deep Purple's Concerto
for Group and Orchestra and the London Symphony
Orchestra in the Gemini Suite composed by the group's organist, Jon Lord. Since the 1980s there have been frequent concerts and festivals dedicated to his music. In October of each year there is an annual Malcolm Arnold Festival in his birthplace Northampton. On 3 September 2010 the Malcolm Arnold Academy, a secondary school in Northampton, was opened; while in September 2014 the new Malcolm Arnold Preparatory Free School was opened. Honours and awards[edit]

1937 - won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music 1941 - W. W. Cobbett Prize, 2nd prize for Vita Abundans 1948 - awarded scholarship by the Royal Academy of Music's Mendelssohn Scholarship Foundation 1951 - Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
1st prize in the music documentary class for Science in the Orchestra 1958 - won Academy Award
Academy Award
for the music to The Bridge on the River Kwai 1959 - Ivor Novello Award for the music to The Inn of the Sixth Happiness 1969 - Honorary Doctorate, University of Exeter 1969 - created a Bard
of Gorseth Kernow, taking the Bardic name Trompour ('Trumpeter'). 1970 - appointed a Commander (CBE) of the Order of the British Empire 1982 - Honorary Doctorate, University of Durham 1983 - Fellowship of the Royal College of Music, London 1984 - Honorary Doctorate, University of Leicester 1985 - Honorary Member, Royal Academy of Music, London 1986 - Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Services to British Music 1987 - Wavendon
AllMusic Composer
of the Year 1989 - Honorary Doctorate, Miami University
Miami University
of Ohio 1989 - Freedom of the Borough of Northampton 1992 - Fellowship of the Trinity College of Music, London 1993 - knighted for services to music 1994 - Honorary President, Victoria College of Music, London 1997 - Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester 2001 - Fellowship of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors 2003 - Honorary Doctorate, University of Winchester 2004 - Distinguished Musician Award, Incorporated Society of Musicians 2006 - Honorary Doctorate, University of Northampton


Burton-Page, Piers (1994). Philharmonic Concerto: the Life & Music of Sir Malcolm Arnold. London: Methuen. ISBN 0-413-45651-X.  Cole, Hugo (1989). Malcolm Arnold: An Introduction to His Music. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 978-0571100712.  Craggs, Stewart R. (1998). Malcolm Arnold: A Bio-Bibliography. Bio Bibliographies in Music. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-29254-X.  Jackson, Paul R. (2003). The Life and Music of Sir Malcolm Arnold: The Brilliant and the Dark. UK: Ashgate. ISBN 978-1859283813.  Meredith, Anthony; Paul Harris (2004-09-24). Malcolm Arnold: Rogue Genius. UK: Thames / Elkin. ISBN 0-903413-54-X.  Schafer, (Raymond) Murray (1963). British Composers in Interview. UK: Faber & Faber.  Thöne, Raphael D. (2007-08-20). Malcolm Arnold - A Composer
of Real Music: Symphonic Writing, Style and Aesthetics. US/UK: Entercom Saurus. ISBN 978-3-937748-06-1. 


^ a b c Grove Concise Dictionary of Music 1988 ISBN 0-333-43236-3 ^ CBCO Bulletin, December 1945 ^ a b Davies, Barbara (2008). Composer
Sir Malcolm Arnold's less than harmonious legacy. Daily Mail
Daily Mail
online, 28 February 2008. Retrieved 2011-10-23. ^ Meredith and Harris, p 480. ^ "BBC News - Sir Malcolm Arnold's carer wins battle on final music score". BBC News. Retrieved 22 September 2014.  ^ "Obituaries: Sir Malcolm Arnold". Telegraph.co.uk. 25 September 2006. Retrieved 22 September 2014.  ^ Cooke, Mervyn (2005). Malcolm Arnold: Concert Overtures Archived 7 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (PDF). Chandos Records. Retrieved 2011-07-03. ^ Palmer, Christopher (1992). Malcolm Arnold: Film Music Suites - Premier Recordings Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine., sleeve notes (PDF). Chandos Records. Retrieved 2011-07-04. ^ Cox, James (2000). The Film Music of Sir Malcolm Arnold, Volume 2 Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine., sleeve notes (PDF). Chandos Records. Retrieved 2011-07-04.

External links[edit]

Official Sir Malcolm Arnold website with performance diary, news, and discography Official Malcolm Arnold Festival website The Malcolm Arnold Society Malcolm Arnold on IMDb Critical essay by Simon Heffer in Standpoint Magazine Interview with Sir Malcolm Arnold by Bruce Duffie, March 16, 1991

v t e

Malcolm Arnold


Homage to the Queen Sweeney Todd

Orchestral music

No. 1 (1949) Symphony
No. 2 (1953) Symphony
No. 3 (1957) Symphony
No. 4 (1960) Symphony
No. 5 (1961) Symphony
No. 6 (1967) Symphony
No. 7 (1973) Symphony
No. 8 (1978) Symphony
No. 9 (1986) English Dances Four Scottish Dances Tam O'Shanter Overture


for Two Violins and String Orchestra Clarinet
No. 2 Concerto
for Harmonica
and Orchestra


The River Kwai March

Film score

Wings of Danger
Wings of Danger
(1952 film) The Sound Barrier
The Sound Barrier
(1952) Stolen Face
Stolen Face
(1952) The Holly and the Ivy (1952) It Started in Paradise
It Started in Paradise
(1952) The Captain's Paradise
The Captain's Paradise
(1953) Albert R.N.
Albert R.N.
(1953) Hobson's Choice (1954) You Know What Sailors Are (1954) The Sleeping Tiger
The Sleeping Tiger
(1954) The Belles of St Trinian's
The Belles of St Trinian's
(1954) The Sea Shall Not Have Them
The Sea Shall Not Have Them
(1954) 1984 (1956) Trapeze (1956) The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge on the River Kwai
(1957) The Roots of Heaven (1958) Dunkirk (1958) The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
(1958) The Key (1958) Tunes of Glory
Tunes of Glory
(1960) Whistle Down The Wind (1961) No Love for Johnnie
No Love for Johnnie
(1961) The Inspector (1962) The Lion (1962) Nine Hours to Rama
Nine Hours to Rama
(1963) Tamahine
(1963) The Chalk Garden (1964) The Heroes of Telemark
The Heroes of Telemark
(1965) Sky West and Crooked(1966) Africa Texas Style
Africa Texas Style
(1967) The Reckoning (1969) David Copperfield (1969)

Named for Arnold

Malcolm Arnold Academy

Related articles

Curse of the ninth

List of compositions by Malcolm Arnold
List of compositions by Malcolm Arnold
Category:Compositions by Malcolm Arnold

v t e

Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Original Score


Louis Silvers
Louis Silvers
(1934) Max Steiner
Max Steiner
(1935) Leo F. Forbstein
Leo F. Forbstein
(1936) Charles Previn
Charles Previn
(1937) Erich Wolfgang Korngold/Alfred Newman (1938) Herbert Stothart/Richard Hageman, W. Franke Harling, John Leipold, Leo Shuken (1939)


Leigh Harline, Paul J. Smith, Ned Washington/Alfred Newman (1940) Bernard Herrmann/ Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace (1941) Max Steiner/ Ray Heindorf and Heinz Roemheld (1942) Alfred Newman/ Ray Heindorf (1943) Max Steiner/ Morris Stoloff and Carmen Dragon
Carmen Dragon
(1944) Miklós Rózsa/ Georgie Stoll (1945) Hugo Friedhofer/ Morris Stoloff (1946) Miklós Rózsa/Alfred Newman (1947) Brian Easdale/ Johnny Green
Johnny Green
and Roger Edens (1948) Aaron Copland/ Roger Edens and Lennie Hayton (1949)


Franz Waxman/ Adolph Deutsch and Roger Edens (1950) Franz Waxman/ Johnny Green
Johnny Green
and Saul Chaplin (1951) Dimitri Tiomkin/Alfred Newman (1952) Bronisław Kaper/Alfred Newman (1953) Dimitri Tiomkin/ Adolph Deutsch and Saul Chaplin (1954) Alfred Newman/Robert Russell Bennett, Jay Blackton and Adolph Deutsch (1955) Victor Young/Alfred Newman and Ken Darby (1956) Malcolm Arnold (1957) Dimitri Tiomkin/Andre Previn (1958) Miklós Rózsa/Andre Previn and Ken Darby (1959)


Ernest Gold/ Morris Stoloff and Harry Sukman (1960) Henry Mancini/Saul Chaplin, Johnny Green, Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal (1961) Maurice Jarre/ Ray Heindorf (1962) John Addison/Andre Previn (1963) Richard M. Sherman
Richard M. Sherman
and Robert B. Sherman/Andre Previn (1964) Maurice Jarre/ Irwin Kostal (1965) John Barry/ Ken Thorne (1966) Elmer Bernstein/Alfred Newman and Ken Darby (1967) John Barry/ Johnny Green
Johnny Green
(1968) Burt Bacharach/ Lennie Hayton and Lionel Newman (1969)


Francis Lai/ The Beatles
The Beatles
(John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) (1970) Michel Legrand/ John Williams
John Williams
(1971) Charlie Chaplin, Raymond Rasch and Larry Russell/ Ralph Burns
Ralph Burns
(1972) Marvin Hamlisch/ Marvin Hamlisch
Marvin Hamlisch
(1973) Nino Rota
Nino Rota
and Carmine Coppola/ Nelson Riddle
Nelson Riddle
(1974) John Williams/ Leonard Rosenman
Leonard Rosenman
(1975) Jerry Goldsmith/ Leonard Rosenman
Leonard Rosenman
(1976) John Williams/ Jonathan Tunick (1977) Giorgio Moroder/ Joe Renzetti (1978) Georges Delerue/ Ralph Burns
Ralph Burns


Michael Gore (1980) Vangelis
(1981) John Williams/ Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
and Leslie Bricusse (1982) Bill Conti/Michel Legrand, Alan and Marilyn Bergman (1983) Maurice Jarre/Prince (1984) John Barry (1985) Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
(1986) Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne
David Byrne
and Cong Su (1987) Dave Grusin
Dave Grusin
(1988) Alan Menken
Alan Menken


John Barry (1990) Alan Menken
Alan Menken
(1991) Alan Menken
Alan Menken
(1992) John Williams
John Williams
(1993) Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
(1994) Luis Enríquez Bacalov/ Alan Menken
Alan Menken
and Stephen Schwartz (1995) Gabriel Yared/ Rachel Portman (1996) James Horner/ Anne Dudley
Anne Dudley
(1997) Nicola Piovani/ Stephen Warbeck (1998) John Corigliano (1999)


Tan Dun
Tan Dun
(2000) Howard Shore
Howard Shore
(2001) Elliot Goldenthal
Elliot Goldenthal
(2002) Howard Shore
Howard Shore
(2003) Jan A. P. Kaczmarek
Jan A. P. Kaczmarek
(2004) Gustavo Santaolalla
Gustavo Santaolalla
(2005) Gustavo Santaolalla
Gustavo Santaolalla
(2006) Dario Marianelli (2007) A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman
(2008) Michael Giacchino
Michael Giacchino


Trent Reznor
Trent Reznor
and Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross
(2010) Ludovic Bource
Ludovic Bource
(2011) Mychael Danna (2012) Steven Price (2013) Alexandre Desplat
Alexandre Desplat
(2014) Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
(2015) Justin Hurwitz
Justin Hurwitz
(2016) Alexandre Desplat
Alexandre Desplat

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 2655382 LCCN: n79140955 ISNI: 0000 0001 0863 4364 GND: 118942840 SELIBR: 216603 SUDOC: 03503808X BNF: cb13890898k (data) BIBSYS: 97020414 MusicBrainz: cdfa63ba-a0d2-447b-b6d4-1c6bfbc11352 NDL: 01037023 BNE: XX1010157 SN