Walter Beckett

(* Dublin 1914; † Dublin 1996)

Beckett was one of the lesser active composers of the mid-twentieth century. He studied at the Read School, the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) and at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating Bachelor of Music in 1936 and Doctor of Music in 1942. In 1946 he left for Venice and was for several years the foreign correspondent in musical matters for the Irish Times. From 1963 to 1972 he lived in Warrickshire and Coventry, England, before returning to Ireland. He taught harmony and counterpoint at the RIAM from 1972 to 1985, when ill-health prevented further creative work. Among his main works is a Suite for Orchestra (1945), a Dublin Symphony (1989) and a Quartet for Strings (1980).


Recorded Works:


Guilfoyle's Wood (1926) pf

EM Records EMR CD 024, CD (2014): Duncan Honeybourne.


Three Preludes (1942) pf

EM Records EMR CD 024, CD (2014): Duncan Honeybourne.

Quartet for Strings (1980) str-qu
Chandos CHAN 9295, CD (1994): Vanbrugh Quartet.


Cornphíopa Dhoire (arr.) orch
Gael-Linn CEF 004, LP (c. 1960): Radio Éireann Light Orchestra, Éimear Ó Broin (cond).


Down by the Sally Gardens (arr.) v, instr. quintet
Argo ZRG 5434 (stereo), RG 434 (mono), LP (1965): Bernadette Greevy (Mez), members of the Radio Éireann Symphony Orchestra.