William Alwyn

William Alwyn (November 7, 1905 – September 11, 1985) was an English composer, conductor, and music teacher.

William Alwyn was born in Northampton where he showed an early interest in music and began to learn to play the piccolo. At age 15 he entered the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied flute and composition. He was a virtuoso flutist and for a time was the principal flutist of the London Symphony Orchestra. Alwyn served as professor of composition at the Royal Academy from 1926 to 1955.

William Alwyn had a remarkable range of talents. He was a distinguished linguist, poet, and artist, as well as musician.

His compositional output was varied and large and included five symphonies, four operas, several concertos and string quartets.

Alwyn wrote over 70 film scores from 1941 to 1962. His classic film scores included Odd Man Out, Desert Victory, Fires Were Started, The History of Mr Polly, The Fallen Idol and The Black Tent.

Alwyn was a Romantic composer of a unique sort. He devised his own alternative to twelve-tone serialism and he relished dissonance.

Alwyn's concerto for harp and string orchestra, Lyra Angelica, became popularly known when figure skater Michelle Kwan performed to it at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

William Alwyn died in Southwold, England. He was survived by his second wife, the composer Doreen Carwithen.


The Fairy Fiddler
Farewell Companions
Juan, or the Libertine
Miss Julie

Symphony No. 1
Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 3
Symphony No. 4
Symphony No. 5 Hydriotaphia
Concerto Grossi
Concerto Grosso No. 1
Concerto Grosso No. 2
Concerto Grosso No. 3
Sinfonietta for Strings
Elizabethan Dances
Scottish Dances
The Magic Island
The Innumerable Dance
Aphrodite in Aulis
Festival Overture
Overture To A Masque
Five Preludes for Orchestra
Tragic Interlude

Piano Concerto No. 1
Piano Concerto No. 2
Violin Concerto
Oboe Concerto
Harp Concerto Lyra Angelica
Pastoral Fantasia, for viola and string orchestra
Autumn Legend, for cor anglais and string orchestra

String Quartet
String Quartet No. 1
String Quartet No. 2
String Quartet No. 3
Three Winter Poems
Concerto for Flute and Eight Wind Instruments
Rhapsody for Piano Quartet
Suite for Oboe and Harp
Sonata Impromptu, for violin and viola
Conversations, for violin, clarinet and piano
Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano
Clarinet Sonata
String Trio
Naiades, fantasy sonata for flute and harp

Ballade for Viola and Piano
Viola Sonatina
Flute Sonata
Crepuscule, for harp

Fantasy Waltzes
Green Hills
Cricketty Mill
Sonata alla Toccata
Prelude and Fugue on an Indian Scale
Haze of Noon
Harvest Home
April Morn

Film music
They Flew Alone (1941)
Penn of Pennsylvania (1941)
Squadron Leader X (1942)
Escape To Danger (1943)
On Approval (1943)
Medal For The General (1944)
Great Day (1945)
The Rake's Progress (1945)
Green For Danger (1946)
I See a Dark Stranger (1946)
Odd Man Out (1946)
Captain Boycott (1947)
Take My Life (1947)
The October Man (1947)
Escape (1948)
The Fallen Idol (1948)
So Evil My Love (1948)
The Winslow Boy (1948)
The Cure For Love (1949)
The Golden Salamander (1949)
The History of Mr Polly (1949)
Madeleine (1949)
The Rocking Horse Winner (1949)
The Magnet (1950)
Morning Departure (1950)
The Mudlark (1950)
State Secret (1950)
The House in The Square (1951)
Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951)
The Magic Box (1951)
Night Without Stars (1951)
No Resting Place (1951)
The Crimson Pirate (1952)
Saturday Island (1952)
The Long Memory (1952)
Mandy (1952)
The Card (1952)
The Malta Story (1953)
Personal Affair (1953)
The Master Of Ballantrae (1953)
The Million Pound Note (1954)
The Rainbow Jacket (1954)
The Seekers (1954)
Svengali (1954)
Bedevilled (1955)
Geordie (1955)
The Ship That Died Of Shame (1955)
The Black Tent (1956)
Safari (1956)
Smiley (1956)
Zarak (1957)
Manuela (1957)
The Smallest Show On Earth (1957)
A Night to Remember (1958)
Fortune is a Woman (1958)
Carve Her Name with Pride (1958)
I Accuse (1958)
The Silent Enemy (1958)
Devil's Bait (1959)
Third Man on the Mountain (1959)
The Killers of Kilimanjaro (1959)
Shake Hands With The Devil (1959)
Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
The Professionals (1960)
The Naked Edge (1961)
In Search of the Castaways (1962)
Life for Ruth (1962)
Night Of The Eagle (1962)
The Running Man (1963)