William Walton was an English composer. Born in Lancashire, he was baptised at St Thomas, Werneth, Lancashire on 26 July 1902. He studied at Christ Church Cathedral School, Oxford, where he started compising, and then at the College of Christ Church, Oxford.
He came to fame in 1923 with Façade, settings of poems by Edith Sitwell. Among his most well-known works are the overture Portsmouth Point, two symphonies, a viola concerto, the oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast, the march Crown Imperial written for the coronation of George VI, music for Laurence Olivier’s film version of Shakespeare’s Henry V, the march Orb and Sceptre for the coronation of Elizabeth II, and the opera Troilus and Cressida.
William Walton was knighted in 1951 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1967.
In 1953 he moved to Ischia, Italy, where he died.
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