Sir Malcolm Arnold: a border crosser of music

Photo/Source: Malcolm Arnold

“Hardly any other British composer has contributed more to overcoming the boundaries between “U” and “E” music than Malcolm Arnold. Most music and cinema lovers will know him as the composer of the music for the film “Bridge on the River Kwai”, for which he deservedly won an Oscar.In addition to this cinema classic, Arnold has composed the music for around 80 other films, and with his numerous ‘occasional compositions’ he has convincingly demonstrated that it is still possible today to combine popularity and artistic ambition.”.

Gordon Jacobs for composition and Ernest Hall for trumpet were his teachers at the Royal Collage of Music in London. From 1941 to 1948 Sir Malcolm Arnold attracted attention as principal trumpet of the Philharmonic Orchestra London and was awarded the Mendelssohn Prize, which enabled him to continue his studies in Italy. In his work as a composer one finds influences from light music, jazz and pop music, which he skilfully combines with 19th century and modern techniques. His extensive oeuvre includes operas and choral works, symphonies and chamber music, as well as works for wind band and wind chamber music.

Malcolm Arnold would have been 100 years old on 21 October 2021. Here is a list of his works for wind band, as well as recordings on CD.

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