John Barbirolli
Adrian Boult
Gustav Holst
Edward Elgar
Percy Dearmer

See also

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Knowledge Identifier: +Ralph_Vaughan_Williams


Ralph Vaughan Williams

English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scoresadd

Category: Music (650)

Born in 1872.

Countries: United Kingdom (55%), United States (18%), (13%)

Main connections: John Barbirolli, Adrian Boult, Gustav Holst

Linked to: Decca Records, Everest Records, Charterhouse School, Oxford University Press




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Ralph Vaughan Williams was born on 12 October 1872 in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, where his father, the Reverend Arthur Vaughan Williams, was vicar. add something


Following his father's death in 1875 he was taken by his mother, Margaret Susan nee Wedgwood (1843–1937), the great-granddaughter of the potter Josiah Wedgwood, to live with her family at Leith Hill Place, a Wedgwood family home in the Surrey Hills. add something


Fritz Hart - He spent three years as a chorister at Westminster Abbey, under Sir Frederick Bridge, and went to the Royal College of Music in 1893, where he became acquainted with Gustav Holst, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, William Hurlstone, Ralph Vaughan Williams and John Ireland


Gustav Holst - Royal College of Music, where Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams studied in 1895.


Another friendship made at the RCM, crucial to Vaughan Williams's development as a composer, was with fellow-student Gustav Holst whom he first met in 1895. add something


His first marriage was to Adeline Fisher in 1896. add something


Oxford University Press - It had published "The Yattendon Hymnal" in 1899 and, more significantly, the first edition of "The English Hymnal" in 1906, under the editorship of Percy Dearmer and the largely unknown Ralph Vaughan Williams


In 1904, Vaughan Williams discovered English folk songs and carols, which were fast becoming extinct owing to the oral tradition through which they existed being undermined by the increase of literacy and printed music in rural areas. add something


Lucy Broadwood - In 1904 she was to become the Honorary Secretary, following the illness and subsequent death of her predecessor in the post, Kate Lee, and her diary records that she held a meeting with Cecil Sharp and Ralph Vaughan Williams to plan for the resurrection of the Society and "fan its dying embers"


In 1905, Vaughan Williams conducted the first concert of the newly founded Leith Hill Music Festival at Dorking which he was to conduct until 1953, when he passed the baton to his successor, William Cole. add something


Harry Plunket Greene - Plunket Greene included a selection from the "Songs of Travel" by Ralph Vaughan Williams in recital in February 1905


Vaughan Williams was the musical editor of the English Hymnal of 1906, and the co-editor with Martin Shaw of Songs of Praise of 1925 and the Oxford Book of Carols of 1928, all in collaboration with Percy Dearmer. add something


Percy Dearmer - Working with renowned composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and as musical editor, Dearmer published "The English Hymnal" in 1906


His earlier works sometimes show the influence of Maurice Ravel, his teacher for three months in Paris in 1908. add something


In 1909, he composed incidental music for the Cambridge Greek Play, a stage production at Cambridge University of Aristophanes' The Wasps. add something


Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910, rev. add something


Rebecca Clarke (composer) - In 1910 she composed a setting of Chinese poetry, called "Tears", in collaboration with a group of fellow students at RCM. She sang under the direction of Ralph Vaughan Williams in a student ensemble organized by Clarke to study and perform Palestrina's music


John Barbirolli - As a young cellist he made four records for Edison Bell in 1911, with piano accompaniment by his sister Rosa, and as part of the Kutcher and the Music Society string quartets he recorded music by Mozart, Purcell, Vaughan Williams and others in 1925 and 1926


After a gruelling time as a stretcher bearer in France and Salonika, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery on 24 December 1917. add something


In 1918, he was appointed Director of Music, First Army, and this helped him adjust back into musical life. add something


Sir Eugene Goossens recorded the 1920 edition of A London Symphony with the Cincinnati Orchestra for RCA Victor in 1941, the only recording of that version of the score ever made. add something


Frederick Ranalow - A Sea Symphony - In 1922, his singing of the baritone solo in Ralph Vaughan Williams's "A Sea Symphony" at the Oxford Festival was hailed as the highlight of the festival


Malcolm Sargent - Sargent's first recordings as a conductor, made for HMV in 1923 using the acoustic process, were of excerpts from Vaughan Williams' opera "Hugh the Drover


Ignatz Waghalter - Waghalter conducted the German debut performances of Tosca and La Bohème, and of Ralph Vaughan Williams' second symphony in 1923


Howard Ferguson (composer) - Following studies at Westminster School Ferguson entered the Royal College of Music in 1924 to study composition with R. O. Morris and Ralph Vaughan Williams


Grace Williams - In 1926 she proceeded to the Royal College of Music, London, where she was taught by Gordon Jacob and Ralph Vaughan Williams


Imogen Holst - She worked with Herbert Howells before entering the Royal College of Music in 1926 to study composition with George Dyson and Gordon Jacob, harmony and counterpoint with Ralph Vaughan Williams, and conducting with William H. Reed


Jean Coulthard - A scholarship from the Vancouver Woman's Musical Club enabled her to pursue studies at the Royal College of Music in 1928-1929 where she was a pupil of Kathleen Long, R.O. Morris, and Ralph Vaughan Williams


Richard Watson (singer) - He engaged Watson to appear in 1928 in a company including Astra Desmond, Roy Henderson and Steuart Wilson, performing in a season of operas at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in "Così fan tutte", "Master Peter's Puppet Show", "The Secret Marriage," and Vaughan Williams's new opera, "The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains


Richard Watson (singer) - In 1929 Watson played Falstaff in the original production of Vaughan Williams's "Sir John in Love", conducted by Sargent


Cohen premiered Vaughan Williams's "Hymn Tune Prelude" in 1930, which he dedicated to her. add something


Harriet Cohen - Cohen premiered Vaughan Williams' "Hymn Tune Prelude" in 1930 which he dedicated to her


Adrian Boult - In the 1930s Boult ran a series of "conferences for conductors" at his country house near Guildford, sometimes helped by Vaughan Williams who lived a few miles away


Masque - In the 20th century, Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote several masques, including his masterpiece in the genre, "Job, a masque for dancing" which premiered in 1930, although the work is closer to a ballet than a masque as it was originally understood


Before Cohen's first American tour in 1931 he wrote "I fear the Americans will love you so much that they won't let you come back. add something


Grahame Clifford - In 1933 he played Constable in Vaughan Williams's "Hugh the Drover", conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham


He was appointed to the Order of Merit in the King's Birthday Honours of 1935, having previously declined a knighthood. add something


John Skelton - Five of Skelton's 'Tudor Portraits', including 'The Tunnying of Elynour Rummyng' were set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams in or around 1935


Henry Smart - Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote his "God of Grace and God of Glory" to be sung to Smart's REGENT SQUARE. He was horrified when in 1935 the "Methodist Hymnal" set the lyrics instead to Ralph Vaughan Williams' CWM RHONDDA, the tune to which "God of Grace and God of Glory" has since been almost universally sung in churches worldwide


Roy Henderson (baritone) - For the Royal Philharmonic Society he performed Moeran's "Nocturne" under Adrian Boult in 1936, and "Dona Nobis Pacem" and the "Sea Symphony" under Ralph Vaughan Williams at the composer's 70th birthday concert in November 1942


Vaughan Williams had an affair with the married poet Ursula Wood beginning in 1938. add something


Norman Allin - He took part in the Vaughan Williams "Serenade to Music" recording immediately after the concert premiere of that work in 1938


Walter Widdop - In 1938, Widdop was one of the four tenor soloists chosen to perform Ralph Vaughan Williams's "Serenade to Music", which had been written to celebrate Sir Henry Wood's silver jubilee as a conductor


Harold Williams (baritone) - In 1938, he was one of 16 eminent singers invited to take part in the first performance of the "Serenade to Music", written by Vaughan Williams to mark Sir Henry Wood's Silver Jubilee as a conductor


Heddle Nash - In 1938, he was one of the 16 singers chosen by Ralph Vaughan Williams to perform his "Serenade to Music," composed as a tribute to Sir Henry Wood


Ursula Vaughan Williams - She met Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1938, after she sent him a play which she had hoped he would set to music


Symphony No. 5 (Vaughan Williams) - "'Symphony No. 5 in D major"' by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was written between 1938 and 1943


Robert Easton (bass) - On 5 October 1938 he was one of the original 16 singers in Ralph Vaughan Williams's "Serenade to Music


Lilian Stiles-Allen - On 5 October 1938 she was one of the original 16 singers in Vaughan Williams's "Serenade to Music"


Muriel Brunskill - On 5 October 1938, in celebration of Sir Henry Wood's golden jubilee as a conductor, Brunskill sang in the first performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams's "Serenade to Music" along with fifteen other leading English singers including another Marchesi pupil, Astra Desmond


Douglas Lilburn - He was tutored in composition by Ralph Vaughan Williams and remained at the College until 1939


Symphony No. 7 (Bax) - It was commissioned by the British Council to be played at the 1939 New York World's Fair, along with Arthur Bliss's Piano Concerto in B-flat, and Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus"


After Wood's husband died in 1942, Wood became Ralph's literary advisor and personal assistant and moved into his Surrey home, apparently with the tacit approval of Adeline, for whom Wood served as a caretaker until Adeline's death in 1951. add something


John Barbirolli - Within six months of his return to Britain in 1943, Barbirolli resumed his contract with HMV, conducting the Hallé in the Third Symphony of Bax and the Fifth of Vaughan Williams, followed by works by a wide range of composers from Corelli to Stravinsky


British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors - The Composers' Guild of Great Britain was founded in 1944 to represent composers of classical music, with Ralph Vaughan Williams elected as first president


John Cook (musician) - He worked as a copyist for Ralph Vaughan Williams on the score of the 1948 film "Scott of the Antarctic" and with Benjamin Britten on his chamber opera "Albert Herring


Several other foreign conductors have recorded individual Vaughan Williams symphonies: Dimitri Mitropoulos and Leonard Bernstein both recorded the Fourth Symphony with the New York Philharmonic, the same orchestra with which Leopold Stokowski had made the first recording of the Sixth Symphony in 1949. add something


Stokowski later went on to perform six of Vaughan Williams's symphonies for American audiences, making the first recording of the Sixth Symphony in 1949 with the New York Philharmonic, and giving the U.S. premiere of the Ninth Symphony in Carnegie Hall in 1958. add something


Leopold Stokowski - He made many splendid recordings with the NYPO for Columbia, including the world premiere recordings of Vaughan Williams's 6th Symphony and Olivier Messiaen's "L'Ascension", in 1949


Adrian Boult - He recorded all eight then-existing symphonies by Vaughan Williams for Decca in the 1950s with the LPO, in the presence of the composer


Arnold Matters - At Covent Garden on 26 April 1951 he created the role of the Pilgrim in Ralph Vaughan Williams's "The Pilgrim's Progress", and in 1953 that of Cecil in Benjamin Britten's "Gloriana"


Bernard Rose (musician) - In 1952 he conducted the premiere of An Oxford Elegy by Ralph Vaughan Williams


Anne Macnaghten - In 1952, with the help of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and funding from the Arts Council of Great Britain , Macnaghten was able to revive the concert series, which was renamed the "New Macnaghten Concerts" and ran for over forty years, the last concert given in 1994


The original SATB version was composed for the Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in June 1953. add something


Ursula Vaughan Williams - Ursula Wood and Ralph Vaughan Williams married in February 1953


John Noble (baritone) - In 1954, Noble took the title role in Dennis Arundell's production of Ralph Vaughan Williams's "The Pilgrim's Progress" at the Cambridge Guildhall


The Eighth Symphony, first performed in 1956, was followed by the much weightier Symphony No. 9 in E minor of 1956–57. add something


Harold Darke - Darke's work as Conductor of St Michael's Singers was crowned in 1956 on the occasion of the Choir's 40th Anniversary with the first performance of a number of now well-established works composed especially for the occasion - notably "Hierusalem" by George Dyson and "A Vision of Aeroplanes" by Ralph Vaughan Williams


Gerald Finzi - In 1956, following an excursion near Gloucester with Vaughan Williams, Finzi developed shingles, probably as a result of immune suppression caused by Hodgkin's disease


Edward Elgar - In a "Musical Times" 1957 centenary symposium on Elgar led by Vaughan Williams, by contrast, several contributors share Eric Blom's view that "Falstaff" is the greatest of all Elgar's works


Before his death in 1958, he completed three more symphonies. add something


This last symphony was initially given a lukewarm reception after its first performance in May 1958, just three months before his death. add something


At the end of the sessions for the mysterious Sixth Symphony, Vaughan Williams gave a short speech, thanking Boult and the orchestra for their performance, "most heartily," and Decca later included this on the LP. He was to supervise the first recording of the Ninth Symphony with Boult; his death on 26 August 1958 the night before the recording sessions were to begin provoked Boult to announce to the musicians that their performance would be a memorial to the composer add something


Ursula Vaughan Williams - Ralph Vaughan Williams died in 1958


David Mason (trumpet player) - Mason was the flugelhorn soloist for the world premiere of Ralph Vaughan Williams's Symphony No. 9 on 2 April 1958


Everest Records - The world premiere recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams's "Symphony No. 9 in E minor" was made by Everest at Walthamstow on the morning of the composer's death, August 26, 1958


A. L. Lloyd - In 1959 his collaboration with Ralph Vaughan Williams, 'The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs', was published


David Willcocks recorded much of the choral output for EMI in the 1960s and 1970s add something


Malcolm Sargent - Of Vaughan Williams' shorter pieces, Sargent recorded, with the BBC in 1960, the "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" , and with the LSO, "Serenade to Music" and "Toward the Unknown Region"


Sinfonia of London - Among the original ensemble's most celebrated commercial classical recordings is its 1963 recordings with Sir John Barbirolli conducting the "Serenade for Strings" of Edward Elgar and the "Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis" of Ralph Vaughan Williams for EMI Classics and the 1958 soundtrack album from the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "Vertigo" with Bernard Herrmann's score conducted by Muir Mathieson


In 1964 Wood published "RVW: A Biography of Ralph Vaughan Williams" add something


Janet Baker - Among her most notable achievements are her recordings of the Angel in Elgar's "The Dream of Gerontius", made with Sir John Barbirolli in December 1964 and Sir Simon Rattle over twenty years later; her 1965 performances of Elgar's "Sea Pictures" and Mahler's Rückert-Lieder, recorded with Barbirolli; and, from 1965, the first commercial recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams's Christmas oratorio "Hodie" under Sir David Willcocks


This work was recorded by Maurice Abravanel and the Utah Symphony in 1966 add something


Anthony Burgess - On the BBC's "Desert Island Discs" radio programme in 1966, Burgess chose as his favourite music Purcell's "Rejoice in the Lord Alway"; Bach's "Goldberg Variations" No. 13; Elgar's Symphony No. 1 in A flat major; Wagner's "Walter's Trial Song" from "'Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg"; Debussy's "Fêtes"; Lambert's "The Rio Grande"; Walton's Symphony No. 1 in B flat; and Vaughan Williams' "On Wenlock Edge"


Brigham Young University - The BYU Opera Workshop gave the first North American performance of the Ralph Vaughan Williams opera The Pilgrim's Progress in April 1968, directed by Max C. Golightly


Adrian Boult - After the death of his colleague Sir John Barbirolli in 1970, Boult was seen as "the sole survivor of a great generation" and a living link with Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Holst


Gennady Rozhdestvensky - He performed all the symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams in St. Petersburg in the late 1980s but only the 1st has been released on CD.


Elizabeth Harwood - She had only one solo recital disc, a selection of English art songs by Frederick Delius, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frank_Bridge, Arnold Bax, Michael Head, George Lloyd, and Roger Quilter recorded in London in 1983, released on the Conifer label, with John Constable on the piano. It has not been reissued on compact disc


De Ropp, Robert S. 1995/2002 "Warrior's Way: a Twentieth Century Odyssey" add something


Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra - In September 1995 the orchestra, conducted by Richard Hickox, was the first to give a complete concert cycle of the symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams


Leonard Slatkin - There were reports of tension between Slatkin and the orchestra, whose secure finances were said to have "fostered a culture of superiority and recalcitrance", as well as negative concert reviews, which contributed to his short tenure with the BBCSO. Previously in the UK, Slatkin was principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra from 1997 to 2000 and made a series of digital recordings for RCA with them, including the symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams


Hollywood Symphony Orchestra - Composers represented in 2006 included Miklós Rózsa, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Maurice Jarre, Victor Young, Dimitri Tiomkin, Craig Armstrong, Clint Eastwood, Henry Mancini, Elmer Bernstein, Dave Grusin, Alex North, John Scott, Sergei Prokofiev, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Max Steiner, Don Davis, Ernest Gold, Bernard Herrmann


She served as honorary president of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society until her death in 2007 add something


L. Macy ; retrieved 16 January 2008 add something


In a 2013 survey of Vaughan Williams's stage works, Eric Saylor writes, "With the possible exception of Tchaikovsky, no composer's operatic career was less emblematic of his success elsewhere add something


The extent to which it is a true symphony has been debated; in a 2013 study, Alain Frogley describes it as a hybrid work, with elements of symphony, oratorio and cantata add something


Worcester - Famous for its championing of English music, especially that of Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst, Worcester hosts the festival in July 2014