Welcome to the Vaughan Williams Foundation – one of the foremost sources of funding for recent and contemporary music in the UK
The Vaughan Williams Foundation is a new grant-giving charity which upholds the values and vision of the celebrated composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and his wife Ursula Vaughan Williams.
Our principal aims are to honour RVW’s desire to support his fellow composers, and to help make his own work widely accessible to the general public.
VWF was founded in 2022, 150 years after the composer’s birth, and brings together the two charities originally set up by Ralph (RVW Trust) and Ursula (Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust).
VWF supports the work of British/Irish composers from the last 100 years, as well as projects which further the knowledge and understanding of the life and music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, and of the work of Ursula Vaughan Williams.
Applications for our next funding round are now open and ensembles, organisations and individuals are invited to apply.
VWF also offers annual £6,000 annual Vaughan Williams Bursaries to postgraduate composition students.
12 October 2022 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams, and the launch of this Foundation but #RVW150 celebrations continue into the summer of 2023.
Find out more about the composer and explore some of the projects going on in the anniversary year
READ THE LATEST
THE LETTERS OF RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
Get to know the man and his music
RVW’s wide-ranging correspondence – with family, pupils, fellow composers, conductors and performers – paints an intriguing portrait of the man, as well as providing fascinating insights into his major preoccupations: musical, personal and political.
Our searchable database includes over 5000 annotated transcriptions of his correspondence all available to read online.
Letter of the Day
Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Frank (OUP)
Letter No.: VWL2704
From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
July 11th 1953
As regards the new carol book idea; I will do one or two arrangements myself if you wish, and if I am to be in the book I must have a final veto on all that goes into it. I do not see much point in having Jacques in; I don’t trust either his judgement or his knowledge in the matter of Carols. I think we ought to make it entirely a collection of English Carols.
With regard to Anthony Scott’s arrangement of Tallis, I claim no copyright over the tune. I understand he [Tallis] has been dead more than fifty years.
1. English Traditional Carols, ed. by VW and Martin Shaw was published in 1954, containing 21 carols from the Oxford Book of Carols (Catalogue of Works 1928/2). Reginald Jacques was subsequently invited by OUP to edit, with David Willcocks, the first volume in its highly successful series Carols for Choirs.
2. On VW’s connexion with Scott’s motet Almighty Word, see VWL2685 and VWL3442.
His music continues to inspire us. Its incredible breadth of style and outlook seems especially important in our polarised times.
CHRISTOPHER GLYNN, artistic director, Ryedale Festival
Among his acts were countless kindnesses, known only to himself and the persons concerned. He gave continuous encouragement to younger men. He had the dignified humility of a great man, and was utterly unself-seeking.
SIR ARTHUR BLISS, conductor
I cannot stress enough how important this organisation’s work is, what a profound difference it is making, and how it has enabled so many to develop creatively and give new work a platform. Vaughan Williams himself would surely be so proud of this legacy.
ZOE MARTLEW, composer and cellist
It is necessary to know facts, but music will enable you to see past facts to the very essence of things in a way which science cannot do. The arts are the means by which we can look through the magic casements and see what lies beyond.
RVW, letter to the children of Swaffham Primary School, 1958