One of Malvern’s greatest assets is the contribution made by local individuals and groups to the arts, and in particular music.
Most notable is Malvern Concert Club, founded in 1903 by the composer Sir Edward Elgar with Arthur Troyte Griffith, a local architect, as his enthusiastic secretary. The club has been sustained for over 109 successive seasons by the unstinting hard work of a local committee with the Honorary Secretary bearing the responsibility for artistic planning. The loyal support of the membership has enabled the club to flourish over all these years, with current numbers running at over 450 and often with 600 people attending concerts. Without doubt, Malvern Concert Club must be counted as one of the most successful in Britain today, continuing to engage many leading musicians.
The Malvern area has a plethora of talented amateur bands, choirs and orchestras including Malvern Festival Chorus, the Chandos Symphony Orchestra, Malvern Chase Brass Band, The Hills Singers, Vital Spark, church choirs, and several popular Community Choirs. The series of Band Concerts on summer afternoons in Priory Park, supported by Malvern Town Council, has run for over 20 years and are a great success. In West Malvern there is WestFest a summer celebration of folk, rock and popular music. A new venture beginning in 2011 is Civic Week, organised by Malvern Civic Society and includes local musicians of all ages.
On the professional front, and quite apart from the drama and music presented at Malvern Theatres, there are regular concerts by the English String and Symphony Orchestras with their Side by Side events, an opportunity for young people to play with professional musicians.
The Autumn in Malvern Festival, founded in 1989, is Malvern’s longest running, continuous, cultural festival. Classical music based with a strong literary and visual arts element the festival engages professional orchestras, musicians, artists, film - makers and speakers of the highest calibre, often of international stature. There is an important music education outreach programme with the involvement of local Primary Schools and concerts by young people, supported by the festival. The festivals Founder and Artistic Director is a native of Malvern and in 1968 he founded Aldwyn Voices, Malvern’s distinguished chamber choir, who were awarded the Kodaly Trophy by Hungarian Radio, the BBC & EBU for outstanding services to European Choral music. The choir has been heard many times on the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 3 and 4 and BBC Television.
Malvern has always attracted individuals with musical talent, such as Jenny Lind, Edward Elgar and, more recently, Nigel Kennedy and Cher Lloyd. A number of current residents are well known musicians and composers.
Paul Farrer has lived in Malvern all his life and is an ex-pupil of Dyson Perrins school. He is probably best known for writing the music for the Weakest Link TV show. Paul has numerous other work which can be seen on his website and include film scores, prime time TV shows such as Dancing on Ice, and has worked for Disney's Pixar, Ford, Ferrari and the Royal Air Force.
David Lowe is another Malvern resident well known in TV music. David's music includes the current themes for BBC News, the One Show, Panorama, Countryfile and Grand Designs. He is also well known for his hit single "Would you...?" which reached the top three in 1998.
Alec Roth, a talented composer, recently moved to live in Malvern. Recent projects include pieces for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble and Brinkburn Festival, and a cycle of 4 major works over 4 years in collaboration with Vicram Seth, co-commissioned by the Salisbury, Chelsea and Lichfield Festivals.
Adrian Williams, based in Upper Colwall, is another talented local composer. He writes scores for many media including film, TV and the Proms, clips of which can all be heard .
Elaine Hugh-Jones, a Welsh composer of international repute, lives in Malvern Link. For 37 years she was an official accompanist with the BBC Radio 3 and accompanied numerous world famous musicians. She also taught music at Malvern College.