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
VWL5228 Letter from Gustav Holst to Ralph Vaughan Williams 1903---- Saturday [1903]
VWL5227 Letter from Gustav Holst to Ralph Vaughan Williams 1903---- Tuesday [1903]
VWL4275 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guthrie Foote (OUP) 19510115 Jan 15 [1951]
VWL4273 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Christopher Morris (OUP) 19570529 May 29 1957
VWL4235 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joseph Cooper 19461113 Nov 13 [1946]
VWL4234 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joseph Cooper 19461026 Oct 26 [1946]
VWL4233 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joseph Cooper 194610-- [October 1946]
VWL4232 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joseph Cooper 19460922 Sept 22 [1946]
VWL4230 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joseph Cooper 19460918 Sept 18 [1946]
VWL3834 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Grace Williams 1930---- [1930]
VWL3830 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Grace Williams 1930---- [1930]
VWL3801 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guy Oldham 19500412 12th April, 1950.
VWL3800 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guy Oldham 19500401 April 1 [1950]
VWL3799 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guy Oldham 19500330 30th March, 1950.
VWL3798 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guy Oldham 19500802 2nd. August, 1950.
VWL3797 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guy Oldham 19500726 26th July, 1950.
VWL3796 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guy Oldham 19500711 July 11 [1950]
VWL3795 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guy Oldham 19500702 2 July 1950
VWL3794 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guy Oldham 19500620 June 20 [1950]
VWL3793 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guy Oldham 19500607 7th June, 1950.
VWL3792 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guy Oldham 19500516 May 16 [1950]
VWL3791 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guy Oldham 19490824 24th August, 1949.
VWL3755 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Guthrie Foote (OUP) 19490902 2nd. September, 1949.
VWL3685 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Mullinar 19491123 23rd November, 1949.
VWL3498 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Christopher Morris (OUP) 195607-- [Late July 1956?]
VWL3483 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Frank (OUP) 19570426 April 26th 1957.
VWL3181 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Frank (OUP) 19550814 August 14th 1955.
VWL3130 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Harry Stubbs 19491025 Oct 25 [1949]
VWL3123 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Harry Stubbs 19491101 [About 1 November 1949]
VWL3122 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Harry Stubbs 19491101 [About 2 November 1949]

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