Malcolm Arnold's Interesting Facts

1 As a favor to long-time friend William Walton, Arnold agreed to orchestrate Walton's score for Battle of Britain (1969). When Walton found difficulty composing under the schedule at his age, Arnold secretly helped compose several cues. Ultimately, however, the score was rejected and replaced with one by Ron Goodwin. The Walton/Arnold version of final battle scene score, however, was retained in the release version. The Walton/Arnold score has since been released on CD and as an alternate track on the M-G-M release of the film on Blu-Ray and DVD. Arnold's contribution is unmistakable to those familiar with his style.
2 The producers of "Bridge on the River Kwai" wanted to release the movie in time to make the deadline for Academy Award consideration. However, they couldn't find any composers willing to write a score on such a tight deadline. Arnold accepted the challenge. They gave him 10 days to compose the complete film score; he did it, and won the Oscar for best score.
3 He was given exemption from the military during WWII, but after his brother in the RAF was killed, he was determined to serve in the armed forces. He was turned down by the parachute regiment and the Navy, but was finally enlisted in the infantry.
4 He was the youngest of five children of a shoemaker. A rebellious teenager, he enjoyed the creativity and freedom of jazz music. After seeing Louis Armstrong play in Bournemouth, he took trumpet lessons, and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music when he was 17. By 1943, he was principal trumpet with the London Philharmonic, and he loved brass music throughout his life.
5 In 2001 was awarded a Fellowship of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters, it was presented on the occasion of an 80th Birthday concert at Wigmore Hall.
6 Has one son and one daughter through first marriage with Sheila Nicholson, and one son from second marriage with Isobel Gray.
7 Children: (with Sheila) Katherine and Robert; (with Isobel) Edward
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