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10 things you didnt know about Walton

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- Although William Walton went up to Oxford to study music, he left without a degree in 1920, having failed his exams three times.
- His early choral masterpiece, A Litany, was written when the composer was just 15.
- Walton befriended the war poet Siegfried Sassoon at Oxford, and dedicated his Portsmouth Point overture to him.
- In 1948, Walton met the 22-year-old Susana Gil Passo in Buenos Aires while on a business trip. After dinner one evening, Walton is said to have told her ‘You will be very surprised, Miss Gil, to hear that I am going to marry you.’
- La Mortella, the Waltons’ home in Ischia, is open to the public – tours were conducted by his wife, Susana, up until her death in 2007.
- Walton received the Order of Merit in 1967, the fourth composer to be awarded the honour. There can be only 24 recipients of the award at any one time.
- William Walton wrote the music for the 1969 film Battle of Britain but it only on reading a copy of the Daily Telegraph that Walton discovered his music had been rejected in favour of a score by Ron Goodwin.
- When Elgar died in 1934, the British authorities asked Walton to write a piece for the coronation of George VI. Crown Imperial was unashamedly populist, and many of Walton’s admirers, who believed the composer to be an avant-garde musician, were disappointed.
- Benjamin Britten and Walton were close friends – Walton considered Britten a genius, but the compliment wasn’t reciprocated.
- Walton wrote the music for the opening sequence of the BBC’s television adaptations of Shakespeare plays which were broadcast between 1978 and 1985, by which time the composer had died.

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10 things you didnt know about Walton

  1. 1. www.colstonhall.org/classical 10 things you didn’t know about… Walton
  2. 2. www.colstonhall.org/classical Although William Walton went up to Oxford to study music, he left without a degree in 1920, having failed his exams three times.
  3. 3. www.colstonhall.org/classical His early choral masterpiece, A Litany, was written when the composer was just 15.
  4. 4. www.colstonhall.org/classical Walton befriended the war poet Siegfried Sassoon at Oxford, and dedicated his Portsmouth Point overture to him.
  5. 5. www.colstonhall.org/classical In 1948, Walton met the 22-year-old Susana Gil Passo in Buenos Aires while on a business trip. After dinner one evening, Walton is said to have told her ‘You will be very surprised, Miss Gil, to hear that I am going to marry you.’
  6. 6. www.colstonhall.org/classical La Mortella, the Waltons’ home in Ischia, is open to the public – tours were conducted by his wife, Susana, up until her death in 2007.
  7. 7. www.colstonhall.org/classical Walton received the Order of Merit in 1967, the fourth composer to be awarded the honour. There can be only 24 recipients of the award at any one time.
  8. 8. www.colstonhall.org/classical William Walton wrote the music for the 1969 film Battle of Britain but it only on reading a copy of the Daily Telegraph that Walton discovered his music had been rejected in favour of a score by Ron Goodwin
  9. 9. www.colstonhall.org/classical When Elgar died in 1934, the British authorities asked Walton to write a piece for the coronation of George VI. Crown Imperial was unashamedly populist, and many of Walton’s admirers, who believed the composer to be an avant-garde musician, were disappointed.
  10. 10. www.colstonhall.org/classical Benjamin Britten and Walton were close friends – Walton considered Britten a genius, but the compliment wasn’t reciprocated.
  11. 11. www.colstonhall.org/classical Walton wrote the music for the opening sequence of the BBC’s television adaptations of Shakespeare plays which were broadcast between 1978 and 1985, by which time the composer had died.
  12. 12. www.colstonhall.org/classical For more great classical content: www.colstonhall.org/classical

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