William was a student of Jean-Pierre Rampal, Marcel Moyse, and Geoffrey Gilbert

He has taken the best of these three great masters thereby continuing their legacy with his inspiring masterclasses and approach to coaching flautists towards a greater musicality. To date, he has recorded at least 300 separate musical works from solo flute repertoire and chamber music, including selections from his vast collection of personal transcriptions for flute. This number does not include the numerous orchestral recordings he has participated in throughout his career.

His orchestral career has been prolific with his numerous performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, St Martin in the Fields, and the English Chamber Orchestra. His years of recordings and international performances as a soloist and principal flute along with his gift of a unique imaginative teaching style, earned him the recognition of HM The Queen in 1995 with an OBE for his services in music.

He is most known amongst flautists for his musical integrity, beautiful tone, and unique sense of artistry, not to mention his sense of humour. He was honoured with the National Flute Association Lifetime Achievement Award in August 2002. In 2003 he was appointed the British Flute Society's Flautist Laureate, and in 2005 he was awarded the Italian Flute Society's Premio all Carriera Flauto D'oro.