Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies for OrchestraLord of the Flies” is now available in a new and exciting 70th Anniversary Publication of Wilkinson’s orchestral scenario of the novel by Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding. The music is scored for a large orchestra and comes from United Music Publishing Ltd.


This large-scale orchestral showpiece, presented by permission of Faber Books with the support of the William Golding Estate Ltd., is a tour-de-force musical depiction of the 1954 novel by William Golding, the British Nobel Prize-winning author for literature. The thirteen segments seamlessly transition through the book chapters including introductory prologue and closing epilogue music. A complete concert performance will have a duration of approximately 40 minutes.


The piece was originally composed for an advanced and ambitious youth orchestra, with a commission from the combined Sherborne Orchestras in England. Looking back, after three decades, the piece stands as a testament to the high standard of performance and ambition of the young musicians at that time and the unwavering faith and commitment shown by the commissioning directors Patrick Shelley and Peter Lapping. Short excerpts from the piece formed a version called “Spirits,” which earned Wilkinson the first prize for orchestral composition at the 2017 Busan Maru (South Korea) International Music Festival.


Outside of film music, few contemporary orchestral pieces employ such large forces within large-scale structures with inherent stylistic accessibility. The instrumentation includes a triple woodwind section, a brass section of 4 horns, three trumpets, three trombones and a tuba. While a battery of percussion instruments features prominently, usually played by a minimum of 4 players. There is a piano, a harp and a full strings section. Optionally, there is a choir of children’s voices and an electronic keyboard (stipulating patches for the Yamaha DX27 or similar).


The new publication from United Music Publishing Limited offers study and conductor scores (A4 and A3 sizes, respectively) with an original cover design by Amori. Orchestral parts are available for sale and hire.


Wilkinson set Lord of the Flies to music while drawing inspiration from a stay on the island of Cyprus during Easter 1996. This period was highly productive in Wilkinson’s orchestral output. Later that year saw the composition of the popular Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, which is now recital examination repertoire. Within two years, came other large-scale orchestral compositions, including the Second Symphony and two narrated orchestral works. All these works are available in print from UMP Ltd.


The art of Amori features on the cover of this publication with a poignant illustration. The composer is very thankful to Katie Woods at UMP Ltd for publishing another large-scale orchestral work. Special thanks go to Becky Taylor of Faber Book Publications for expert advice and liaison. The William Golding Estate offered support and encouragement in presenting this musical setting for publication.


The work is ideal for younger audiences, especially those studying the novel or the play. Lord of the Flies remains a set study work for many English literature examinations, including AQA | CCEA | Edexcel | Eduqas | WJEC boards. The music is descriptive, highly engaging and accessible.

Related Works

Wilkinson’s other literary-musical settings include Aus dem Dunkel, a chamber piece for mezzo-soprano, horn and piano, and two narrated orchestral works, Morte d’Arthur and Tom Sawyer’s Treasure Adventure.

See the full list of compositions by Garry Wilkinson and complete publications.


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