Walton, Sir William (Turner )
- Byron Adams
(b Oldham, 29 March 1902; d Ischia, 8 March 1983 ). English composer. Noted above all for his orchestral music, he is one of the major figures to emerge in England between Vaughan Williams and Britten.
The second of four children, Walton was born into an impecunious family. His father, Charles, was a baritone who made a modest income as a choir master and his mother, Louisa (née Turner), was a contralto. Walton’s earliest musical experiences came as a choirboy in his father’s church choir. Anglican anthems, as well as the secular vocal music he heard at home, thus formed the basis of his musical habits and laid the foundation of his later style. The punishment he received as a choirboy (his knuckles were rapped by his father for each musical mistake he made) may have also contributed to his often painful quest for musical perfection....