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3rd Feb 2017
Sir Malcolm Arnold

A large part of the collection of one of the 20th century’s greatest composers is set to go under the hammer in April. 

Keys Fine Art Auctioneers, based in Aylsham, Norfolk, has announced a special sale of The Sir Malcolm Arnold Collection, with around 120 lots from the estate of the composer, comprising items from his lifetime collection and work.

Included in the sale are:

  • a number of important original manuscripts, such as his Symphony No 1 Opus 22, ‘Grand Fantasia’ Opus 973; several film scores including ‘Great St Trinian’s Train Robbery’ (1864) and ‘David Copperfield’ (1969); and a one-off copy of ‘Peterloo’ from Manchester Library
  • musical instruments including the trumpet he played as Principal Trumpet with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • awards including his two Ivor Novello Awards (for the score of the film ‘The Inn Of The Sixth Happiness’ (1959), and for Outstanding Services To British Music (1986); his knighthood (1993); and his freedom of the city of Northampton (1989)
  • many artworks, including portraits of the artist by June Mendoza and Marialuissa Merino, and a picture signed by Benny Goodman, as well as works by Carel Weight and Merlyn Oliver Evans

Sir Malcolm (1921-2006), who spent his last 22 years of his life living in Norfolk, is widely regarded as one of the most prominent British composers of the 20th century, rated in importance alongside Benjamin Britten.  He was described by the BBC as ‘a towering figure in the history of British music’.

He composed nine symphonies alongside numerous concertos, concert works, chamber music, choral music and music for brass band and wind band.  He was commissioned to write five ballets by the Royal Ballet, and composed two operas and a musical.

He also write the scores for more than a hundred films, winning an Oscar in 1958 for ‘The Bridge On The River Kwai’.

Kevin Lines, director and general manager at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers, said, “For anyone interested in music, this is a sale of world importance, a unique opportunity to acquire significant items from the personal collection of one of Britain’s greatest composers.

“We are expecting considerable interest from musicologists, museums and institutions, as well as ordinary musicians from around the world.”

The Sir Malcolm Arnold Collection Sale will take place on 6th April 2017, at a venue in Norfolk to be announced.  Full details of the items on sale, and details of viewing, will be available in the next few weeks at www.keysauctions.co.uk