Sir Malcolm Arnold was born 91 years ago today. In 1958, his score for "The Bridge On The River Kwai" won him an Oscar for Best Music and Scoring.
Although Britain has produced a formidable array of songwriters and composers of contemporary music, it is fair to say we have been less successful on the classical side, but one name that stands out is Sir Malcolm Arnold, who had he lived would have been 91 years old today. He died September 23, 2006; like Jimmy Savile, shortly before his 85th birthday - best not mention that to Sir Malcolm's fans though.
Although he composed no fewer than 9 symphonies, he is probably best remembered as the composer of the score for The Bridge On The River Kwai, except by aficionados. He also worked with Jon Lord on both Concerto For Group And Orchestra and The Gemini Suite.
Like many talented people, he had his inner demons, and for about twenty years he suffered emotional turmoil including alcoholism, depression and suicidal tendencies, but he recovered and went back to work. He was knighted in 1993.
Sir Malcolm has his own website where you can learn more about the man and his music.