William Alwyn

William Alwyn

Artist

Born William Alwyn Smith (1905-1985), Alwyn painted and wrote poetry and art criticism, but he is best known as a prolific composer. After initially studying and working as a flutist, he wrote numerous film scores and concert music in many genres, including four full-length operas. He also devised a harmonic system that worked as an alternative to the 12-tone serialism that dominated his time. He was a cousin to the actor Gary Cooper and is the great-grandfather of the actor and songwriter Joe Alwyn.