William Alwyn

(1905—1985) composer

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(b Northampton, 1905; d Southwold, 1985).

Eng. composer, pianist, flautist, poet, translator, and painter. Began career as orch. flautist with LSO. Prof. of comp., RAM, 1926–56. First orch. work (5 Preludes for Orch.) played at a Promenade Concert, 1927. Three times chairman, Composers' Guild. Wrote much mus. for films, incl. wartime documentaries Desert Victory and The Way Ahead. Wrote several vols. of poetry and trans. Fr. poets. CBE 1978. Prin. comps.:


Miss Julie



syms. No.1 (1950), No.2 (1954), No.3 (1956), No.4 (1960), No.5 (1973); symphonic prelude The Magic Island (1953);

Festival March


Conc. grosso

No.1 (1952), No.2, str. (1951), No.3 (1964);

Elizabethan Dances

(1957); ob. conc. (1951);

Lyra Angelica

, conc. for harp and str. (1955);

Autumn Legend

, ca. and str. (1956);

Derby Day



for str. (1970), No.2 (1976).

chamber music:

str. trio (1963); str. qts. No.1 in D minor (1955), No.2 (Spring Waters) (1976); cl. sonata (1962);


, fl. and hp. sonata (1972);


, fl. (1940).


Fantasy Waltzes


Sonata alla toccata

(1951); 12 Preludes (1959).


(all with pf.): Mirages, bar. (1974);

6 Nocturnes

, bar. (1976);

A Leavetaking

, ten. (1977);


, sop. (1978).

Subjects: Music.

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