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An Alwyn Chronology - John Dressler
1905
7 November: is born William Alwyn Smith in the sub-district of St Giles in the county borough of Northampton to William James and Ada Tyler Tompkins Smith at 54 Kettering Road

1910
attends Northampton Council School and receives a piccolo from his parents

1913
11 February: older brother Anthony Ewart (Tony) Smith dies, age 10; is buried in Grave 8537 in the Billing Road Cemetery, Northampton along with father and mother

1914
attends Northampton Grammar School (until 1919) and has piano lessons with R. W. Strickland

1915
a) from a spiral-bound music-manuscript-paper notebook in the Alwyn Archive: 'Woodland Voices…piccolo solo composed by William Smith age 10, Op. 1'; Alwyn will later refer to this work as Sparkling Cascades in several interviews.
b) passes entrance examination at the Royal Academy of Music and commutes twice a week to London for lessons on the flute and piano; boyhood acquaintance of Edmund Rubbra

1918
Suite for Orchestra is played by the R.A.M. Orchestra conducted by Alexander Mackenzie rejected as 'unplayable' before the end of the rehearsal

1919
a) leaves the R.A.M. to work in his father's shop; resumes piano and organ lessons in between shop hours
b) Olive Pull wins an LCC 'special talents' scholarship to the R.A.M. where she studies piano, singing and harmony

1920
William auditions for the Royal Academy of Music; recommended by R. W. Strickland

1921
a) William enters the R.A.M. with principal study of flute with Daniel Wood and secondary study of piano with Edward Morton and Leo Livins and elements of harmony study with Russell Chester, John McEwen and Arthur Hinton; fee was 14 guineas per term
b) William receives the Ross Scholarship through 1924 for flute study at the R.A.M.

1922
24 June: composes Three Preludes for Viola and Piano

1924
a) William receives the Oliveria Prescott Gift at the R.A.M.; this prize was awarded to 2 distinguished students of composition each Spring as income to be used for the purchase of orchestral study scores
b) Olive Pull wins the Elizabeth Stokes bursary and is appointed a sub-professor at the R.A.M.
c) William receives the Sir Michael Costa Scholarship through 1927 at the R.A.M.; receives free tuition; writes an opera (Fairy Fiddler) as a result of winning this scholarship
d) 18 January: William James Smith (father) dies
e) leaves the R.A.M; does not stay long in Northampton
f) becomes music master at a private residential school in Haslemere, Surrey; plays in London's East-end theatres and cinemas; teaches piano lessons for one shilling an hour
g) August or September: performs a flute sonata of Frederick the Great in recital at St Lawrence Jewry (London) with organist, Ernest F. Mather
h) 9 December: performs as flute soloist, Bach: Suite in B Minor at the Queen's Hall [R.A.M.]

1926
a) Haze of Noon and Two Irish Pieces (piano) published by Oxford University Press
b) 7 September: recital is broadcast from Bournemouth of Bach's Sonata in B Minor: Alwyn is flautist with pianist, Olive Pull
c) November: leaves Haslemere due to ill health

1927
a) March: performs Bach's E-flat Major flute sonata at St Mary-le-Bow Church, London with Ernest F. Mather
b) 25 March: completes Five Preludes for Orchestra
c) Summer: performs as flautist in scratch seaside band at Broadstairs, Kent with a group of 10 players
d) June: from Committee of Management Minutes, 15 June 1927 '…appointed on recommendation of the Principal, William Alwyn as professor…' at the Royal Academy of Music, London
e) September: performs as flautist and piccoloist with the London Symphony Orchestra at Hereford Cathedral (Three Choirs Festival); included on the programme was Dream of Gerontius conducted by Elgar

1928
cites '…both Gauguin and Nietsche were my mentors in my twenties, and their influence has never deserted me…', Uncommonplace Books, Book III.

1929
1 January: marries Olive Mary Audrey Pull at St George's Church, Tufnell Park in the Parish of Islington; witnesses were Ada Tyler Smith, Jane Emma Pull, William Joseph Pull and John B. McEwen; Olive sets up a piano studio in their 45 Midholm, Hampstead home where her Bechstein piano takes up a substantial portion of the sitting room; she remains close with fellow R.A.M. students: Clifford Curzon, Lesley Duff Bedford, Nancy Bush, Lilian Cameron

1930
a) 9 July: performs on the flute his arrangement of I've Been Roaming: Guelda Waller and Vera Maconochie, sopranos; Hilda Pitcairn, piano; BBC broadcast in the National Programme
b) 10 October: birth of son, Jonathan

1932
a) 8 March: performs as flautist Ravel's Chansons madécasses at the R.A.M. with Geoffrey Dunn (tenor), Lilly Phillips (cello) and Norman Franklin (piano)
b) 18 March: delivers a lecture at the R.A.M. during Review Week titled, 'Musical Thoughts'
c) 1932-33 spends 9 months in Australia as an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

1934
spends 3 months in Canada as an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music with Michael Head, Herbert Kinsey and Lloyd Powell

1935
4 July: performs Wallingford Riegger's Suite for Flute Alone, Op. 8 at the R.A.M.

1936
a) 20 February: performs as flautist at the Chelsea & Westminster Musical Festival with Alan Richards (violin), Arnold Goldsborough (piano) and conductor Iris Lemare
b) 27 February: makes application to the Performing Right Society; accepted 19 March; for most of the next 20 years would serve on the executive committee as well as on many of the council's committees
c) April-May: travels to Canada again as examiner for the Associated Board
d) is a member of the Committee of the R.A.M. New Music Society
e) scores his first documentary film, The Future's in the Air, for Strand Film Company, directed by Alexander Shaw and produced by Paul Rotha

1937
performs as flautist with the Iris Lemare Orchestra

1938
a) 24 January: performs Boleslaw Wojtowicz's Trio (flute, clarinet, bassoon) with Reginald Kell and Richard Newton at the R.A.M.
b) 13 June: birth of son, Nicholas
c) receives the Collard Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Musicians through 1941 jointly with Edmund Rubbra

1939
a) 14 March: performs the first broadcast performance of Hugo Anson's Suite for Flute and Piano with the composer at the piano; National Programme, 5 pm
b) September: volunteers to be an Air Raid Warden; evacuates his family from London to the village of Bisley [nr. Stroud] where Olive had grown up
c) appointed Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music as elected by its directors

1940
a) 13 June: performs Eugène Goossens's Three Pictures (flute and piano) with Sidney Harrison at the R.A.M.
b) becomes an honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians after having held the Collard Fellowship; family moves first to the home of composer, Alan Bush in Radlett and subsequently to Welwyn Garden City where they rented a house for the rest of the war

1941
scores his first feature film, Penn of Pennsylvania, for British National Films, directed by Lance Comfort

1943
2 January: is a founding member of the Society for the Promotion of New Music; the first experimental rehearsal took place on 1 October 1943 at the Royal Academy of Music

1945
24 May: founding member with Alan Bush, Thomas Dunhill, Theodore Holland, Ralph Vaughan Williams and others of The Composers' Guild to combine composers in their distinctive society '…to further the artistic and professional interests of its members…' [Alan Bush to Rose-Mary Sands, Secretary of The Composers' Guild, 7 September 1947]

1946
10 March: delivers a lecture titled 'Music for Film' to the Cambridge Film Society, University of Cambridge

1948
begins to experience a throat condition: difficulty swallowing

1949
becomes Chair, Composer's Guild of Great Britain (will be re-elected Chair in 1949 and 1959)

1951
a) April through March 1955: serves on the British Film Academy Council of Management
b) August: speaks on music's contribution to film production at the 8th Annual British Film Institute Summer School at Bangor, North Wales

1954
a) attends Bergen Music Festival (Norway) and visits home of Grieg; renewed his friendship with Clifford Curzon there
b) November: Thornhill, Cowes, Isle of Wight (letter written by Alwyn dated and addressed from this temporary retreat but had probably been visiting as early as 1953)

1955
a) March: tenders letter of resignation to the R.A.M. Committee of Management on 2 March ending a teaching career of nearly 28 years in Room 73
b) 7 September: Ada Tyler Smith (mother) dies at Pitsford House Nursing Home, Northamptonshire
c) 22 November: visits gravesite of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Birchington-on-Sea, Kent)
d) 30 December: considers an appointment as head of a department in BBC Television; turns down the job 15 February 1956

1956
a) 27 March: signs a letter to The Times (with other composers) regarding the Copyright Bill being proposed; this will prompt other letters in The Times to follow
b) 11 June: completes the score of Symphony No. 3
c) 10 October: provides Pierre Cochereau (Notre Dame Cathedral organist) a theme for improvisation at a recital at the Royal Festival Hall

1957
5 May: attends a performance by the Northampton Musical Society of Bach's B Minor Mass at the New Theatre, Northampton; also in attendance is Malcolm Arnold and Edmund Rubbra, the other major composers from that town; all three are patrons of the society

1958
a) 25 January: birth of Alwyn's first grandchild, Sarah Katherine, to parents Jonathan and Pamela
b) is made a Fellow of the British (Film) Academy [along with Ian Dalrymple and George Gunn]
c) 30 August: delivers a lecture titled 'Film Music: Sound or Silence?' at the Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival
d) Fall: serves with Malcolm Arnold and Matyas Seiber on the Clements Memorial Prize Board as adjudicator for the best chamber music work by a British subject

1959
a) 2 October: attends funeral of Gerald Hoffnung, Golders Green Crematorium representing the Composers' Guild of Great Britain 
b) November: becomes a trustee of The Phoenix Trust that provides funds for literature and the arts

1961
moves to Blythburgh, Suffolk; suffers another nervous breakdown; is unable to compose until 1963

1962
a) June: attends a Congress in Rome with Alan Frank [OUP]; is sent to the Salvator Mundi Hospital on 22 June suffering from enteritis and periodic spasms
b) 14 November: sells his collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings at Sotheby's; Burne-Jones's Angel with Cymbals bought in 1953 for £8 sold for £600

1963
a) is a member of the Isle of Wight Island Sailing Club having been elected to membership in 1953
b) 17 October: attends memorial service for Louis MacNeice, All-Souls Church
c) writes his last film score, The Running Man, for Columbia/Peet Productions, directed by Carol Reed

1966
8 October visits Puccini's birthplace (Lucca) '…unspoiled and full of lovely churches and ancient buildings…' [postcard to Royce Whale]

1967
2 October: conducts a studio recording of Strauss's Don Juan with the BBC Northern [Philharmonic], Manchester, Milton Hall

1969
elected as an honorary member of the general council of the Performing Right Society

1971
a) 7 June: Alan and Nancy Bush visit the Alwyns at Lark Rise
b) November: speaks at the Northampton Arts Association dinner on 8 November; tells members they had to should the responsibility for promoting art in their town as '…Britain spends too little on the Arts…'.

1972
writes the introductory essay for the Decca recording of Elgar's Gerontius conducted by Benjamin Britten

1973
a) February: completes Symphony No. 5
b) June: completes rough sketch of Act I, Scene 1 of Miss Julie
c) June: the Alwyns make a pilgrimage to Chillon to see the pillar in the dungeons on which Byron carved his name as a protest against man's inhumanity against man

1974
a) 4-7 January: conducts recording sessions in London for the Lyrita set of symphonies
b) 10 April: spends a holiday at Tennyson's home, Isle of Wight

1975
a) April: marriage to Doreen Carwithen is finalized
b) 30 July: ends writing his Uncommonplace Book, I; begins Uncommonplace Book, II

1976
a) International Poetry Society's William Alwyn Award begins prompted by Frederic Vanson's suggestion to Alwyn to set up such an award; run through the society's magazine, Orbis; the first winner was Margaret Krouwer
b) Philip Lane is awarded first prize by William Alwyn as part of the Ipswich Orchestral Society Competition for Composition
c) 4 March: completes Miss Julie

1977
16 July 1977: Miss Julie premiere: BBC broadcast performance, Radio Three; pre-
recorded in Brent Town Hall on 17 February 1977; Jill Gomez (Miss Julie), Benjamin
Luxon (Jean), Della Jones (Kristin), Anthony Rolfe-Johnson (Ulrik); BBC Concert
Orchestra; Vilem Tausky, conductor

1978
awarded C.B.E. for services to English music

1979
28 July - 10 August 10th: joint exhibition of William's artwork and Lesley Scott's sculpture at the Halesworth Gallery (Suffolk); Early Spring sold for ₤200, and The Lily Pool sold for ₤40 according to the Sales Book

1980
a) suffers a stroke followed by meningitis and pneumonia
b) 5 July: completes Uncommonplace Books, Book VI
c) October: travels to Glasgow to rehearse and record the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for a 75th-birthday concert: Symphony No. 2, Concerto Grosso No. 3, Derby Day Overture, Oboe Concerto 
1981
a) writes libretto, Isle of Slaves
b) 24 April: Olive Pull Alwyn dies, aged 80, in Kings Ride Nursing Home, Richmond, Surrey

1982
a) 19 May: is awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Leicester in absentia; the music recital room at the University Centre, Barrack Road, Northampton is named the Alwyn Room as a tribute
b) 21 May: Trevor Hold delivers a lecture recital of Alwyn's works at the University Centre in conjunction with the University of Leicester award

1983
Autumn: suffers a near-fatal stroke

1984
January: completes final composition, String Quartet No. 3 
1985
a) 11 September: dies in Southwold and District Hospital, Suffolk
c) 20 September: private funeral at Norwich City Crematorium; musical selections heard are: I Chrisantemi, Puccini—Adagio from Lyra Angelica—Adagio from Concerto in D Minor for 2 Violins, J.S. Bach

1986
a) 28 April: The Times reports that Alwyn left an estate valued at £325,625 net
b) May: Alwyn catalogue by Stewart Craggs and Alan Poulton is published, the first attempt at sorting out his works; Alwyn supported the project completely

1992
26 and 29 October, 1 November: Miss Julie: premiere staging: Denmark: nr.
Copenhagen: Ballerup Theatre: Opera-Fabrikken: Susanne Riber (Miss Julie), Jørn
Pedersen (Jean), Annette Lindjerg Simonsen (Krisitn), Ole Vadsten (Ulrik); Lyngby-
Taarbaek Symphony Orchestra; Frans Rasmussen, conductor

1996
27-29 September: John Huntley presents The Golden Age of British Film Music (Part 2), Earnley Concourse, Earnley, Chichester; soundtrack recordings, compact discs and film clips from the following were included: Desert Victory, Take My life, The October Man, They Flew Alone and The History of Mr. Polly 
1997
15 October 1997: Miss Julie: first staging in the UK: Norwich: Theatre Royal: Norfolk
and Norwich Festival in the Year of Drama and Opera: Judith Howarth (Miss Julie), Karl
Daymond (Jean), Fiona Kimm (Kristin), Ian Caley (Ulrik); Britten Sinfonia; Nicholas
Cleobury, conductor

2003
a) 5 January: Mary Alwyn (Doreen Carwithen) dies Forncett St Peter, nr. Norwich; ashes of both Alwyns are interred in the Blythburgh Parish Church cemetery
b) 15 March: London: Imperial War Museum: 'An Appreciation of the Film Music of William Alwyn', lecture by Ian Johnson; excerpts from the following works are featured: The True Glory, The Harvest Shall Come, Desert Victory, Carve Her Name with Pride, and I was a Fireman

2005
14 June: Southwold: St Edmund's Hall: 'Odd Man Out: The Music of William Alwyn', lecture by Reg Williamson; excerpts from the following works are featured: Odd Man Out, String Quartet No. 1, Lyra Angelica, Festival March, Elizabethan Dances, Symphony No. 5, and String Quartet No. 3 
 


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