Yale Bulletin and Calendar

October 11, 2002|Volume 31, Number 6














Andrew Litton, the Grammy Award-winning conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, will lead a performance of works by Sir William Walton on Oct. 19.

Events celebrate British composer Sir William Walton

Yale will mark the centenary of the birth of British composer Sir William Walton on Friday-Saturday, Oct. 18-19, with a series of events that will include an exhibition, a symposium and several performances.

Walton was one of the most prominent English composers of the 20th century. His work is performed regularly in concert halls and frequently as fanfare music at public ceremonies.

He was accomplished in many musical genres, from chamber music and concertos to film scores and operas. Although Walton's music has been described as "lyrical and approachable," some of his compositions defied classical musical categorization.

Walton composed many of his early works while living in the home of poet Edith Sitwell and her brother, Osbert. One of the first works that gained him recognition was "Façade," which combined the recitation of poetry by Edith Sitwell with music scored for four instruments. Walton's concert overture, "Portsmouth Point," first performed in 1926, helped spread his popularity to the United States.

Other celebrated works by Walton include his Viola Concerto, premiered by Paul Hindemith in 1929; his First Symphony; his biblical oratorio "Belshazzar's Feast"; and the "Crown Imperial March," which he wrote for the coronation of King George VI (and which is heard every year at Yale's Commencement). One of his most familiar and acclaimed film scores was for Laurence Olivier's "Henry V."

Walton was knighted by King George VI in 1951. He died in 1983 at his home on the Italian island Ischia, which he shared with his wife of many years, Susana.

"William Walton: A Centenary Celebration at Yale University" is sponsored by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Department of the History of Art, the Yale Center for British Art and the School of Music.

All of the weekend's events are open to the public, free of charge.

The celebration will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday with a panel discussion titled "Walton in Performance." Participants will be television and movie producer Humphrey Burton, British conductor and scholar David Lloyd-Jones and Dallas Symphony Orchestra conductor Andrew Litton. The moderator of the discussion is Edward Cumming, a graduate of the Yale School of Music who was recently appointed conductor of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. The discussion will take place in Rms. 38-39 of the Beinecke Library, 121 Wall St.

At 5:15 p.m. that day, Walton's widow, Lady Susana Walton will join Lloyd-Jones for a conversation titled "Remembering William Walton," which will be held in the Yale University Art Gallery's McNeil Auditorium, (enter on High Street).

This will be followed at 6:15 p.m. with an opening reception for the exhibition "William Walton, composer," which will be on display at the Beinecke Library through Dec. 20. The show will include selections from the Beinecke's Frederick R. Koch Collection, which holds 95% of Walton's known manuscripts. The exhibition also features a listening station, which will allow visitors to hear some of the musical works on display.

Saturday's events will begin with the symposium, "Walton in Contexts," 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St. Noted musicologists and scholars from a range of disciplines will present papers on various aspects of the composer's life and works, including his relation to the visual arts and his social circle of artists and poets.

Lady Walton will be one of the reciters in a performance of the composer's "Façade: An Entertainment with Poems by Edith Sitwell," which will be presented at 3 p.m. in the British Art Center auditorium. Seats must be reserved in advance by calling (203) 432-2969 or sending e-mail to anne.letterman@yale.edu.

The major musical event of the weekend is a Walton Centenary Concert on Saturday evening. At 7 p.m., Lloyd-Jones will deliver a pre-concert lecture at the Beinecke Library. The concert itself will take place at 8 p.m. at Woolsey Hall, corner of College and Grove streets. The performance will feature Andrew Litton, an expert on English music who won a Grammy Award in 1997 for his performance of "Belshazzar's Feast" with the Bournemouth Symphony, guiding the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra, the Yale Camerata (Marguerite Brooks, director) and the New Haven Chorale (Paul Mueller, director) in three of Walton's works.

Baritone Stephen Powell will sing the lead in "Belshazzar's Feast," and cellist Jian Wang will solo in the Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra. Walton's "Crown Imperial March" will round out the program.

For a complete list of Walton events, call (203) 432-2964 or visit the website at www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/walton/htm. For further information about the Saturday evening concert, call (203) 432-4158 or visit www.yale.edu/music.


Richard Brodhead named to third term

Susan Hockfield begins second 5 years

Berkeley College spearheading move to organic menu at Yale

U.N. leader stresses nations' obligations in 'world without walls'

Yale Parents' Weekend

Yale's investments make modest gain

Architecture students make their home design a reality

The rise of online journalism will be the topic of Poynter Fellowship panel . . .

Events celebrate British composer Sir William Walton

Show marks 75th year of Sacco and Vanzetti trial

Lectures, performances highlight museum-wide celebration at Yale Art Gallery

Artists will open their studios to public in city-wide event

Conference will explore new research on health issues of women

Campus Notes

Bulletin Home|Visiting on Campus|Calendar of Events|In the News|Bulletin Board

Yale Scoreboard|Classified Ads|Search Archives|Deadlines

Bulletin Staff|Public Affairs Home|News Releases| E-Mail Us|Yale Home Page