Sir William Walton was born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1902, the son of a choirmaster and a singing-teacher. He became a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and then an undergraduate at the University. His first composition to attract attention was a piano quartet written at the age of sixteen. At Oxford he made the acquaintance of the Sitwells who gave him friendship, moral and financial support and in 1922 he collaborated with Edith in devising the entertainment Facade. Less than ten years later, Osbert prepared the text of another masterwork, Belshazzar's Feast. From 1922 to 1927 Walton began to spend an increasing amount of time abroad, notably in Switzerland and Italy. The war years were devoted mainly to writing film and ballet scores and he became established as amongst the greatest composers for the screen. David Lloyd-Jones was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford and made his professional conducting debut in 1961 with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He worked briefly as a repetiteur at the Royal Opera House before joining the New Opera Company, where he worked from 1961 to 1964. In 1972 he was appointed Assistant Music Director at Sadlers Wells Opera (now English National Opera), where he conducted a wide repertory which included the first British staging of War and Peace by Sergei Prokofiev. Lloyd-Jones became the first Music Director of Opera North in 1977, where he conducted over fifty productions. He stepped down from the position of Music Director in 1990.