Walton, Sir William (Turner) (b Oldham, 29 March, 1902 - d Ischia, 8 March, 1983)
Walton was educated at Oxford, and was a member of the Sitwells' circle from the beginning of the 1920s. His first important work was Facade, setting poems by Edith Sitwell for reciter and sextet - evidently modelled on Pierrot lunaire while looking more the Les Six in its wit and jazziness. His next works also showed Parisian connexions: with Stravinsky and Honegger in the overture Portsmouth Point, and with Prokofiev in the Viola Concerto. Then, without losing the vividness of his writing, he responded to the English Handelian tradition in Belshazzar's Feast, and to Sibelius in his First Symphony in which Elgar too is invoked, but not as greatly as in much of his later music. The Violin Concerto in 1939 confirmed his homecoming.

The 1940s were comparatively unproductive except in film music where he wrote the scores for Henry V and Hamlet. At the end of the decade he married and moved to Ischia where all his later works were composed: these include the opera Troilus and Cressida (1954), and his one act opera The Bear (first performed at the Aldeburgh in 1967). Among his late orchestral works are a Cello Concerto, a Second Symphony, and miscellaneous pieces including a set of finely worked Hindemith Variations which illustrate an improvisatory character typical of his late works.