October 12, 1872
Down Ampney, England
August 26, 1958 in London
Also Known As:
British composer of the 20th century who championed nationalism in English music. He became director of the Leith Hill Music Festival in 1905 and was appointed editor of "The English Hymnal" in 1906.
Type of Compositions:
He wrote various stage works, symphonies, songs, vocal and chamber music. His compositions were inspired by English folk songs.
Ralph Vaughan Williams was a student at Trinity College and pursued music at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music. His teachers at the Royal College of Music included writer/composer Sir Hubert Parry and conductor/composer Sir Charles Stanford. Vaughan Williams later studied under Max Bruch in Berlin and Maurice Ravel in Paris. He would later teach composition at the Royal College of Music from 1919 to 1959.
His notable works include "The Pilgrim’s Progress," "Job," "Hugh the Drover," "Riders to the Sea," "The Lark Ascending," "Serenade to Music," "Sir John in Love," "A London Symphony," "Sinfonia Antarctica," "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis," "Romance for harmonica and orchestra," "On Wenlock Edge," "Five Mystical Songs," "Mass in G Minor," "Toward the Unknown Region," "Grant Us Peace" and "The Holy City."
His second wife was the author and poet Ursula Wood. Vaughan Williams collected English folk songs and these greatly influenced his compositions. He was friends with composer/teacher Gustav Theodore Von Holst.
Listen to Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" courtesy of YouTube.