Composer-film and stage producer William Perry (centre) with two leading scholars of the Peter Warlock Society, Robert Beckhard and Malcolm Rudland.
Says Perry, “The Society is located in England, and I have been for many years the President of the North American Chapter. Warlock, whose real name was Philip Heseltine, was a minor but celebrated English composer (1894-1930), and influences from his music sometimes turn up in my work.”
Composer William Perry for many years has been a driving force in seeing silent films re-emerge as small screen and special venue entertainment.
His popular The Silent Years series (1971 and 1975) on PBS were hosted by Orson Welles and Lillian Gish.
In the 1980s, TV productions on American Playhouse and Great Performances featured actresses Lillian Gish and Butterfly McQueen, and actors Christopher Makepeace, Bernard Hughes and a young Christoph Waltz . In the film featuring Waltz in an early role, The Mysterious Stranger (1982), Perry conducted his own score with The Vienna Symphony and the Vienna Boys Choir in Austria. (The scores would be issued on Perry’s “The Innocents Abroad and other Mark Twain films” CD.)
As a composer of film scores and creator and producer of stage musicals such as the long-running Mr. Mark Twain (and which should soon see a revival on a smaller scale), Perry has and will continue to compose internationally themed major works for orchestra and soloists.