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William Walton

1902-1983

'I don't think there's any piece in the world I would rather be listening to than Walton's First Symphony.'

Peter Phillips, The Spectator

'One of the outstanding composers of the century.'

New York Times

View works by William Walton



 

Composer News

William Walton's entire output is now available as the William Walton Edition - a definitive and fully practical edition, based on the form in which the composer ultimately wished it to be performed.

Composer Biography

Sir William Walton was born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1902, the son of a choirmaster and a singing-teacher. He became a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and then an undergraduate at the University. His first composition to attract attention was a piano quartet written at the age of sixteen. At Oxford he made the acquaintance of the Sitwells who gave him friendship, moral and financial support and in 1922 he collaborated with Edith in devising the entertainment Belshazzar's Feast. From 1922 to 1927 Walton began to spend an increasing amount of time abroad, notably in Switzerland and Italy. The war years were devoted mainly to writing film and ballet scores and he became established as amongst the greatest composers for the screen.

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