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William Marshall – Composer

William Marshall was born in Chester in 1992. He achieved early success as a composer while still at school, winning the BBC Proms Young Composers’ Competition in 2010. In 2011 he gained a place to read music at Worcester College, Oxford, where he studied composition with Robert Saxton and graduated in 2014 with first-class Honours. He subsequently won both a Radcliffe Trust Scholarship and a Countess of Munster Trust Award to attend the Royal Northern College of Music, where he studied composition with Gary Carpenter and Adam Gorb and gained the MMus degree with Distinction in 2016.


Having returned to Oxford in 2017, William is currently working towards a doctorate in music, supervised by Robert Saxton and fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. His doctoral project comprises both compositional and written components, including a thesis on the music of Alexander Goehr. Prior to commencing his doctoral work, William taught composition and music theory to specialist music students at Wells Cathedral School. In recent years, he has also won places on the St Magnus Composers' Course and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Composers’ and Choreographers’ Exchange, in addition to participating in masterclasses with Hans Abrahamsen, Simon Bainbridge, and Brian Ferneyhough.

Performers of William’s music have included the Aurora Orchestra, Ensemble 10/10 (whose performances of his work have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3), the Hebrides Ensemble, and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. His work has featured at the Oxford Lieder, St Magnus, and William Alwyn Festivals. In 2018, William’s Little Passacaglia (for recorder and piano) was released on the Divine Art CD A Garland for John McCabe, recorded by John Turner and Peter Lawson. Recent works include a choral setting of John Milton’s On Time, premiered by Schola Cantorum of Oxford and Steven Grahl in March 2019, and Two Love Songs of John Ruskin (for baritone and piano), commissioned by Lake District Summer Music and premiered by Kieran Rayner and Ashley Fripp in August 2019.

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