Malcolm Arnold, the British composer who won an Oscar for the musical score to the film "The Bridge on the River Kwai," has died after a brief illness.

Malcolm Arnold, the British composer who won an Oscar for the musical score to the film "The Bridge on the River Kwai," has died after a brief illness.

A spokeswoman for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital said Arnold, who was 84, died there on Saturday afternoon. He had been suffering from a chest infection, the BBC said.

Arnold was one of the best-known British composers of the 20th century. He is particularly recognized for his film scores, of which he composed 132.

Arnold won his Oscar for "The Bridge on the River Kwai" in 1958, becoming the first British composer ever to win the award. Other film scores included for "Whistle Down the Wind" and "Hobson's Choice."

He also composed nine symphonies, seven ballets, two operas, one musical, more than twenty concertos, two string quartets, and music for brass-band and wind-band.

Tributes poured in on Sunday. Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber described him as a "genius" who was never entirely appreciated.

"I think he was a very, very great composer but uneven in his output. Because he had humor in his music he was never fully appreciated by the classical establishment," he told the BBC.

Lord Richard Attenborough, the director and actor, said Arnold was a "totally outstanding composer."

Arnold was awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 1970 and a knighthood in the 1993 New Years Honours List for his services to music.

-- Reuters