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Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams OM (12 October 1872 – 26 August 1958) was one of the great symphonists of the 20th century. He remains one of our most popular composers, with The Lark Ascending regularly voted the UK's favourite classical work.

RVW created important works in most major musical forms and genres as well as writing music for film and stage. He championed music-making in the community, was active as a collector of folksongs and, in his adventurous reimagining of the English Hymnal, he changed the face of British Church music.

RVW was also an inspiring teacher of the next generation of composers. His close involvement with a range of national and local musical organisations, together with the astonishing generosity and support he offered to his fellow composers, made him a central figure in British musical life.

WORDS, MUSIC, PICTURES

RVW’s Letters

RVW's letters to his friends, family, pupils and fellow musicians are often frank and full of fascinating insights which give you a glimpse of the man himself. Read them online.

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RVW in Pictures

A selection of photographs from the collection of Ursula Vaughan Willliams are available for download and for editorial use online and in print

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Published works

With RVW’s copyrights divided between half a dozen different publishing houses, it can be hard to locate any particular score or set of parts to perform. Our searchable catalogue lists the principal publisher of each piece and guides you towards more information.

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Versions of Vaughan Williams

When people talk and write about Ralph Vaughan Williams there’s a tendency towards extremes and opposites. Was he an old-fashioned nationalist or a trailblazing modernist? Was his music narrowly English or eclectically cosmopolitan? Ceri Owen introduces the composer.

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Useful Links

These selected resources will help you to explore the music and life of Ralph Vaughan Williams in more detail.

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MORE NEWS...

RVW resources for Music Teachers

Teaching resources, on different aspects of the work of Ralph Vaughan Williams, are being made available completely free of charge by the Music Teachers' Association.

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Applications are now open

The VWF has opened funding applications for the first time. Get your application in by Wednesday 4 January 2023.

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