Paul Arnaud

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Paul Arnaud (27 January 1911 - 22 February 2004) was one of Malta's foremost band leaders between the 1930s and the 1960s.

He was born in Valletta on 27 January 1911 and started studying music when he was eight years old. Four years later he started playing with the La Vallette Band. He furthered his musical studies under Maestro Carmelo Pace, until he obtained the dipolma of A.Mus.LCM. Later he obtained the LLCM as a bandmaster in London.

At the age of 16, he was the youngest band player during a memorable concert performed by the La Vallette Philharmonic Society in Como, Italy. Aranud played the clarinet piccolo.

During the thirties he was one of the first saxophonists playing in local dance halls. He also directed the orchestra Hungarians, which used to perform regularly at the Premier in Valletta and the Chalet in Sliema. During the Second World War he led the musical sextette of the regiment. In 1947 he went to London with his orchestra but returned after two months. During this time he met Frankie Vaughan, while the latter was working in Malta and they performed together on numerous occasins. Later, Vaughan had several hits in the UK charts.

In 1949 he toured the United Kingdom with the Golden Age Musical Show. Paul came back to Malta and took all his family to the United Kingdom where they stayed for 12 years. He performed on the ships Queen Elizabeth, Empress of England and Oronsay. On his return to Malta he assembled a 40-piece orchestra and named it the Arnaud Variety Orchestra. The orchestra played different genres, from classic music to boogie.

He directed the Malta Song Festival on numerous occasions. He was one of the founders and the first President of UKAM, the union of Maltese singers and song-writers. In 1995 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malta Music Awards.

Paul Arnaud was married to Polly nee Cremona, and together they had six children, Carmen, Paul, Doris, Joe, Margaret and Miriam.

For many years, until he could no longer do so due to old age, he could be seen taking a daily morning stroll down the main street of Valletta (Strada Rjali/Republic Street) with fellow musicians Freddie Mizzi and Sammy Galea.

He died on 22 February 2004 at the age of 93.