Walter Leigh

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WALTER LEIGH (circa 1931)

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1905

Walter Leigh is born in Wimbledon on 22nd June to Ernest and Emmeline Leigh. Emmeline Lindemann was German and before her marriage to Ernest had been a music teacher.

1907

Leigh's sister, Charlotte, is born

1910

The Leighs move to Golders Green

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1913

Begins piano lessons and music theory with Dr. Harold Darke in Highbury.

1916

Starts at University College School, Hampstead

1922

First notable works, Two Elizabethan Lyrics and Reverie for violin and piano, are written

1923

Admitted to Christ's College, Cambridge to study English

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1925

Switches to study Music.

1926

Graduates with Ordinary BA degree with Music as principal subject.

Begins studies for Bachelor of Music exams under Professor E.J.Dent.

1927

Spends the next two years in Hindemith's composition class at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik.

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1929

Writes Student String Quartet which is performed at the Hochschule, and Three Pieces for Amateur Orchestra which is performed at the
Baden-Baden Festival.

   

1930

Writes Sonatina for Viola and Piano for Rebecca Clarke.

In November, becomes musical director of Terence Gray's Festival Theatre in Cambridge.

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1931

The Pride of the Regiment (comic opera) is performed by amateurs.

1932

Sonatina for Viola and Piano is performed at the tenth meeting of the I.S.C.M. in Vienna.

The Pride of the Regiment is performed at the Festival Theatre and then runs for six weeks at St Martin's Theatre, London.

Leaves the Festival Theatre to work freelance. Significant early commissions are A Masque of Neptune (radio play) for the BBC, Interlude for the Theatre for the Camargo Society, and Music for Three Pianos for the piano manufacturers Challen.

1933

Jolly Roger (comic opera) opens at the Savoy Theatre and runs in London for six months.

M
arries Marion Blandford on 5th August at the Church of St. Mary the Less in Cambridge.

1934

Becomes involved with the GPO Film Unit and writes the music for several documentary films including Under the City, John Atkins Saves Up, Pett and Pott and most significantly The Song of Ceylon.

Concertino for Harpsichord or Piano and String Orchestra is completed.

1935

Writes the Agincourt Overture for the B.B.C. as part of the celebrations for King George V's Silver Jubilee. It is broadcast on Sunday 5th May.

1936

Is invited to write the music for Aristophanes' comedy The Frogs for the Cambridge Greek Play.
 
Completes incidental music for a school's performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

1938

Provides the music for Herbert Farjeon's revue Nine Sharp which opens at the Little Theatre.

1939

Gives a series of eight lectures at Cambridge University entitled Modern Music.

Provides much of the music for Farjeon's Little Revue which opens on 21st April. In the cast are Leigh's sister and a newcomer to the stage, Joyce Grenfell.

Joins Officer's Emergency Reserve after Britain declares war on Germany on 3rd September.

1940

Early wartime documentary film Squadron 992 is released.

1941

Is drafted into the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (Royal Armoured Corps) as a trooper, and trains as a radio operator.

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1942

Leigh is killed in action near Tobruk (North Africa) on 12th June.

If you would like further information on any aspect of this Timeline, please email to ken.dance@mypostoffice.co.uk.













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