William Butt was born in London. His musical career started early, as a chorister in St. Georges Chapel, Windsor. Later he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Moray Welsh, and after winning awards and scholarships such as the Royal Society of Arts, Martin Trust and first prize in the Muriel Taylor competition, he furthered his studies with Antonio Lysy in Montreal. He now enjoys a busy career as soloist, chamber musician and is professor of cello at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.
On the concert platform he has performed extensively throughout Ireland, the UK, Europe and the Far East. His performances have been broadcast on BBC radio 3 (in recital as well as concerti with the Ulster Orchestra), BBC radio Ulster, BBC world service, national television in China, CBC (Canada) and RTÉ radio and television. His recordings of the solo cello suites of Benjamin Britten and J.S. Bach on the Warner Classics label have been widely lauded.