William Walton (1902–1983) was an English composer. During a sixty-year
career, he wrote music in several classical genres and styles, from
film scores to opera. His best-known works include Façade – An
Entertainment, the cantata Belshazzar's Feast and his First Symphony.
Born in Lancashire, the son of a musician, Walton was a chorister and
then an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford. On leaving the
university, he was taken up by the literary Sitwell siblings, who
provided him with a home and a cultural education. His earliest work of
note was a collaboration with Edith Sitwell, Façade, which at first
brought him notoriety as a modernist, but later became a popular ballet
score. Other early works that made his name were a Viola Concerto and
Belshazzar's Feast. By middle age, he had ceased to be regarded as a
modernist, and some of his compositions of the 1950s were criticised as
old-fashioned. In his last years, his works came back into critical
fashion; his later compositions, dismissed by critics at the time of
their premieres, were revalued and regarded alongside his earlier
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Yorkist troops defeated Lancastrian forces at the Battle of Towton in
Yorkshire, England, the largest battle in the Wars of the Roses up
until that time with approximately 20,000 casualties.
German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovered 4 Vesta,
the brightest asteroid and the second-most massive body in the asteroid
The M1911 single-action, semi-automatic pistol developed by American
firearms designer John Browning became the standard-issue side arm in
the United States Army.
Second World War: British Royal Navy and Australian Navy ships
intercepted and sank or severely damaged the ships of the Italian Regia
Marina near Crete.
The strongest earthquake to hit the foothills of the Himalayas in more
than ninety years killed 103 people.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(medicine) The study of diseases of the ear, nose and throat
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I am like a tree,
From my top boughs I can see
that led up to me.
--R. S. Thomas
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