Search the letters

The Vaughan Williams Foundation has made over 5000 items freely available: chiefly letters from Ralph Vaughan Williams, but including some responses which shed light on the subject matter, and also a number of letters from Adeline and Ursula Vaughan Williams. These provide further information and often include messages or observations from Ralph, and there are also letters from Adeline and Ursula written on behalf of the couple. The text of letters written by RVW and UVW remain the copyright of the Foundation.

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The letters are in tabular form and can be sorted by column, or filtered by any keyword including name, musical title, place, year or subject (singly or in combination).

To search by letter number, include the prefix VWL, e.g. VWL123.

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Letter No. Title Date Date on Letter
VWL162 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Calvocoressi 190803-- [Early March 1908]
VWL161 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Calvocoressi 190803-- [Early March 1908]
VWL160 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Calvocoressi 190801-- [?January 1908]
VWL159 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 190801-- [?January 1908]
VWL158 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 190801-- [January 1908]
VWL157 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Calvocoressi 190712-- [December 1907]
VWL156 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Calvocoressi 190712-- [December 1907]
VWL155 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Calvocoressi 190711-- [November 1907]
VWL154 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 190710-- ?October 1907]
VWL153 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 190708-- [?Summer 1907]
VWL152 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joanna Hadley 190706-- [?After 3rd June 1907]
VWL151 Draft notes by Ralph Vaughan Williams relating to Cecil Sharp’s English Folksongs (London 1907) 190705-- [?May 1907]
VWL150 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Cecil Sharp 190705-- [After April, 1907]
VWL149 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to the Folk Song Society 190611-- [?November 1906]
VWL148 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Cecil Sharp 190611-- [November 1906]
VWL147 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Cecil Sharp 190611-- Wed [November 1906]
VWL146 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joanna Hadley 19061006 [October 1906]
VWL145 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joanna Hadley 190610-- [?October 1906]
VWL144 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joanna Hadley 190609-- [?September 1906]
VWL143 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joanna Hadley 190609-- [?September 1906]
VWL142 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 19060820 [20 August 1906]
VWL141 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 190608-- [?August 1906]
VWL140 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 19060401 [1st April 1906]
VWL139 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 190607-- [July 1906]
VWL138 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 190603-- [?March 1906]
VWL137 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to René Gatty 19000424 April 24th [1900]
VWL136 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 190407-- [July 1904]
VWL135 Letter from Gustav Holst to Ralph Vaughan Williams 190303-- [March 1903]
VWL134 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Edwin Evans 190306-- [About June 1903]
VWL133 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 190204-- [?Early 1902]

You have never lost your invention but it has not developed enough.  Your best – your most original and beautiful style or ‘atmosphere’ is an indescribable sort of feeling as if one was listening to very lovely lyrical poetry.

GUSTAV HOLST letter to RVW 1903

He was one of the most 'complete' men I have ever known. He loved life, he loved work and his interest in all music was unquenchable and insatiable.

SIR JOHN BARBIROLLI, conductor

I was thunderstruck by the symphony last night - and hadn't expected to be. Jagged, pulsating and angry, from that very first clanging dissonance - how can it have come from the same source as the Tallis Fantasia?

AUDIENCE MEMBER, Newbury Festival