Date of Birth: 1902/3/29
Place of Birth: 93, Werneth Hall Road, Oldham, Lancashire, England
Date of Death: 1983/3/8
William Turner Walton, like Edward Elgar, was born in provincial towns to lower middle class parents and had no formal musical education at a college or academy. He learned to play the piano and (for a brief time) the violin. His musical talent was obvious and when he was ten he was entered for a voice trial for probationer choristers at Christ Church Cathedral School, Oxford. His musical education at Oxford was supervised by Hugh Allen, then organist of New College. In 1918, at the age of sixteen, he began to compose a Piano Quartet, his first large-scale composition. The conductor, Sir Hamilton Harty, asked him to write a symphony which was completed during 1935 and was performed on 6 November that year. There followed in 1939, a Violin Concerto, commissioned and first performed by Jascha Heifetz. He also wrote music for propaganda films, with outstanding success, as in "The First of the Few" (about the designer of the Spitfire fighter aircraft) and Laurence Olivier's "Henry V". He had received a knighthood in 1951.
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