User:Robert E Walker
The English composer and musician Robert Walker was born in Northampton, UK in 1946. He was educated at Northampton Grammar School and was a chorister at St Matthew's Church, Northampton under John Bertalot. After a gap year at the Royal School of Church Music he went on to be Choral Scholar and subsequently Organ Scholar of Jesus College, Cambridge. He later studied conducting with Sir Adrian Boult and composition with Peter Maxwell Davies. Whilst still at Cambridge he was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers at Grimsby Parish Church where, during his five year tenure, he also founded the Grimsby Bach Choir.
As his compositions became more widely performed and broadcast, he decided to devote all of his time to composition. His first major commission was the music for the enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1976. This was followed by many and varied commissions including Variations on a theme of Elgar for the Chichester Festivities; Symphony No 1 for the Exeter Festival and Piano Quintet for the BBC. He was a contracted composer for Novello for whom he also worked in the publishing department. Also in 1976 he began to restore "Brinkwells", the thatched cottage in Sussex where Sir Edward Elgar had written his cello concerto and his late chamber works. Walker lived there for 15 years and during this time he founded the Petworth Festival, was professor of composition at the London College of Music and presented many television and radio programmes for the BBC.
In 1991 he went to live on the island of Bali, Indonesia, built himself a house of coconut and bamboo and played in the village Gamelan. After ten idyllic years, the growing political unrest forced him to leave and he left to lecture at Silpakorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.
He now divides his time between Thailand and the UK and continues to write regularly both for clients and personal pleasure.