Robert Walker (born 18 March 1946) is an English composer, writer and broadcaster.
He was born in Northampton, England.
He was a pupil at Northampton Grammar School (now Northampton School for Boys), and at the same time studied organ with John Bertalot and sang in the choir at St Matthew's Church, Northampton.
He spent a pre-university year at the Royal School of Church Music in 1964 before gaining a choral scholarship as a countertenor at Jesus College, Cambridge in 1965, Subsequently he was appointed to an organ scholarship at the same college.
At Cambridge University he studied composition with Roger Smalley and organ with Arthur Wills (organist at Ely Cathedral).
Whilst still at Cambridge he was appointed organist and Master of the Choristers at St James's Parish Church, Great Grimsby (now Grimsby Minster) and taught music at St.
James's Choir School.
In November 1968 he founded and conducted the Grimsby Bach Choir.
During his time at Grimsby (1968–1973) he had private conducting lessons from Sir Adrian Boult, and a number of compositions were performed, including Three Songs of Gerard Manley Hopkins broadcast by Norma Procter and Paul Hamburger on BBC Radio 3.
In 1973 Walker left full time employment to devote as much time to composition as possible.
He studied composition with Peter Maxwell Davies at Dartington International Summer School.
His first major commissions were to write two anthems for the enthronement of Dr.
Donald Coggan as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1974: Psalm 150 and Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace.
In 1975 he took a lease on 'Brinkwells', Fittleworth, a dilapidated and remote thatched cottage in West Sussex where Edward Elgar had written his Cello Concerto and late chamber works.
He restored it, and lived there until 1991.
During the 1980s he began to broadcast for the BBC, first with BBC Schools broadcasts and later writing and presenting television documentaries for BBC2.
He also presented live broadcasts from the BBC Promenade Concerts.
Fascinated by Balinese gamelan music and dance he moved to the island of Bali and lived first in Ubud and later in a house he built himself in Karangasem where he played in the local gamelan orchestra.
In 2000 the political situation in Indonesia was not good, so he took up a lectureship at Mahidol University in Bangkok where he also conducted the university orchestra and chorus.
In 2002 he took up a similar position at the premier arts university in Bangkok, Silpakorn University.
In 2004, he returned to the U.K.
and to his native Northamptonshire where he still lives.