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).
Applications are open
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.
We welcome applications from organisations and individuals.
VWF also offers annual £6,000 Vaughan Williams Bursaries to postgraduate composition students – applications for the 2023 Bursaries are currently being accepted
12 October 2022 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams, and the launch of this Foundation but #RVW150 celebrations have been in full swing since the beginning of the year and will go on into the summer of 2023.
Find out more about the composer and explore some of the projects going on in the anniversary year
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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
The White Gates,
Feb 19 
Herewith Larry’s piece which you said you wd like to look at – I fear it wd be very little practical use to you as I cannot see how it can arrange for any other instrument & Larry is the only person who plays this kind of music on that queer instrument – I have given him a copy of the pfte score2
1. Music Editor at Oxford University Press in succession to Norman Peterkin (1947); Head of Music from 1954 until his retirement in 1975.
2. Romance in D flat for Harmonica, accompanied by an orchestra of strings and pianoforte (Catalogue of Works 1951/4), written for Larry Adler. Frank replied that Oxford University Press would happily prepare performing material and control performances but would wait to see how the piece was received (it was to be given its first performance in New York on 3rd May 1952) before deciding on publication. A score for harmonica and piano accompaniment was published in 1953.
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