Day School: William Walton: The Man and the Music

Ref: C3747100

In his ceremonial works like “Crown Imperial”, the composer Sir William Walton is often regarded as the heir to Elgar. Yet he is perhaps best known for his startling avant-garde “Façade” suite, written at 21. We trace Walton’s journey from this radical debut through to the neo-romantic orchestral works, the liturgical settings and the ground-breaking oratorio “Belshazzar’s Feast”. We also examine his works for film, and particularly his celebrated partnership with Lawrence Olivier on masterpieces of cinema such as “Henry V.” Retiring, insecure, unsure of his legacy, yet witty and generous, Walton worked slowly but always to high standard. We assess his complex personality, and the claim to him ultimately emerging as the grand Old Man of English Music.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to the life and works of the English composer Sir William Walton. Using musical extracts, students will learn to identify the stages of his growth from youthful radical to the Grand Old Man of English Music

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify and name Walton’s major compositions
  • Identify the key milestones in Walton’s life
  • Explain Walton’s role in the development of the English Musical Renaissance
  • Identify and explain the challenges Walton faced in establishing his position within the musical establishment

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

No preparation is needed - just an openness to learn about Walton and his music. Students need not bring any material, though some advance listening and reading may be suggested.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Day School: William Walton: The Man and the Music

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This course has been cancelled.


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  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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