Sir William Walton was born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1902, the son of a choirmaster and a singing-teacher. He became a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and then an undergraduate at the University. His first composition to attract attention was a piano quartet written at the age of sixteen. At Oxford he made the acquaintance of the Sitwells who gave him friendship, moral and financial support and in 1922 he collaborated with Edith in devising the
entertainment Facade. Less than ten years later, Osbert prepared the text of another masterwork, Belshazzar's Feast. From 1922 to 1927 Walton began to spend an increasing amount of time abroad, notably in Switzerland and Italy. The war years were devoted mainly to writing film and ballet scores and he became
established as amongst the greatest composers for the screen.
Robert Gower studied at The Royal School of Church Music before graduating from Oxford University with a music degree, subsequently working as Director of Music at Radley College, Oxfordshire and Glenalmond College, Perthshire. As an organist, he has broadcast extensively on BBC radio and performs recitals throughout the UK. His commitment to English twentieth-century repertoire is seen in his work as Chairman of the Gerald Finzi and Percy Whitlock charitable trusts and through his editorship
of OUP's Finzi and Walton Organ Albums. He is the compiler of several Oxford organ collections.show more