William Walton is perhaps best defined by a series of paradoxes: the pillar of the British Musical Establishment who lived in voluntary exile; the king of the grand, filmic gesture who harboured deep insecurity; the socialite and ladies' man who often preferred to be alone. Walton hid himself behind an acerbic wit- a statement which has also been made about his writing. Donald Macleod follows him through the distinct eras of his life and explores the many sides to the man and his music.
Snatched by the Sitwells from what they saw as an ignominious future as a schoolteacher in Oldham, William Walton became known in London as the most precocious British composer of the 1920's. Donald Macleod delves into the curious world with which Walton became involved.