Online Biographies

> Click here to view the biography on the Vaughan Williams Society’s website

The biography provides an extensive introduction to the life and works of the composer. There is also timeline including details of the major compositions and life events and a comprehensive catalogue of RVW’s compositions.

> Click here to view the British Library: Discovering Music page

A short biography on the composer’s life with links to a range of online resources, notably images of RVW’s manuscripts in the library’s collection

> Click here to view the Wikipedia entry for Vaughan Williams

A comprehensive entry on RVW’s life and work with extensive links to other sources.

Sound & Vision

> Click here to view the British Library: National Sound Archive page

The British Library’s collection includes commercial discs, tapes of BBC and other radio broadcasts, test pressings, and rare or unpublished recordings donated by composers and private collectors.

> Click here to watch Vaughan Williams on YouTube

An extensive range of performances of RVW’s works.

> Click here to view the Discography of Vaughan Williams’s Music

A downloadable, comprehensive discography of the composer’s works that has currently over 500 entries and is constantly adding material. Managed by Trustee Jonathan Pearson.

> Click here to view The Passions Of Vaughan Williams

The music of Ralph Vaughan Williams ranges far beyond the folksy and the pastoral. The hidden story of his long affair with Ursula Wood reveals a composer of enormous energy and passion and opens the way to a reappraisal of his music. Full length movie on YouTube.

> Click here to view O Thou Transcendent: The Life Of Ralph Vaughan Williams

Film biography of the great composer, produced by the multi-award-winning director, Tony Palmer. Featuring many of those who knew and worked with him, including the Gloucester Cathedral Choir, conducted by Andrew Nethsingha, archive performances by Boult and Barbirolli. Available to purchase.

Letters of Ralph Vaughan Williams

> Click here to view The Letters of Ralph Vaughan Williams

This website is a database of annotated transcriptions of correspondence of the British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958). The database includes all letters of Ralph Vaughan Williams known to the editors and is an ongoing project.

22 Essential RVW Books

Aldritt, Keith.
Robert Hale. 2015. ISBN:9780719809378

*Adams, Byron, and Wells, Robin., (eds.)
Ashgate. 2003. ISBN: 185928387X

Cobbe, Hugh. (ed.)
Oxford University Press. 2008. ISBN: 9780199257973

Connock, Stephen.
Albion Music. 2021. ISBN: 9780995628458

Connock, Stephen., Vaughan Williams, Ursula & Wells, Robin. (eds.)
Albion Music. 2003. ISBN: 0952870649

Connock, Stephen.
Albion Music. 2018. ISBN: 9780995628434

Saylor, Eric.
Oxford University Press. 2022. ISBN: 9780190918569

Douglas, Roy.
The British Library. 1988. ISBN: 0712301488

*Foreman, Lewis., (ed.)
Albion Press. 1998. ISBN: 0952870614

Frogley, Alain and Thomson, Aidan J. (eds.)
Cambridge University Press. 2013. ISBN: 9780521197687

*Frogley, Alain., (ed.)
Cambridge University Press. 1996. ISBN: 0521480310

Heffer, Simon.
Faber & Faber. 2008. ISBN: 9780571245758

Kennedy, Michael.
Oxford University Press. 1980. ISBN: 0198163304

Kennedy, Michael. (ed.)
Oxford University Press. 1987. ISBN: 0192840169

Manning, David. (ed.)
Oxford University Press. 2008. ISBN: 9780195182392

Moore, Jerrold Northrop.
Oxford University Press. 1992. ISBN: 0198162960

*Ross, Ryan.
Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group) 2016. ISBN: 9781138792715

Vaughan Williams, Ursula. & Holst, Imogen. (eds.)
Oxford University Press. 1959.

Vaughan Williams, Ursula.
Oxford University Press. 1964. ISBN: 0192820826

Davison, Caroline.
Chatto & Windus. 2022. ISBN: 9781784744540

Simeone, Nigel.
Boydell &Brewer Ltd, 2022. ISBN:  9781783277292

Music festivals where RVW’s music is regularly performed

> Click here to view the Leith Hill Music Festival

Leith Hill Musical Festival is a competitive choral festival for amateur choirs in the Surrey area, founded in 1905 by Lady Evangeline Farrer and Margaret Vaughan Williams, whose famous brother, the composer Ralph, was Festival Conductor for nearly fifty years. Each year around two thousand singers take part over five days. The main Festival takes place over two days in the middle of April, at Dorking Halls. The Halls were opened in 1931 to house the Festival and Ralph Vaughan Williams was an influential figure in raising funds for its construction.

> Click here to view the Three Choirs Festival

The Three Choirs Festival is a week-long programme of world-class music making, featuring choral and orchestral concerts, solo and chamber music recitals, talks, cathedral services, theatre, exhibitions, and walks, rotating each summer between the beautiful English cathedral cities of Gloucester, Hereford, and Worcester. One of the elements which makes the festival so special is the Festival Chorus, which is made up of auditioned singers from the local area trained by professional directors, meaning that the Chorus both sings to a high standard and is a real part of the community. Three Choirs is thought to be the longest-standing classical music festival in the world and celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2015.

> Click here to view the Ludlow English Song Weekend

Our mission is to build a creative, sustainable and fruitful annual song festival based in Ludlow that seeks to maximise audience enjoyment and understanding of art song – informed by the perspective of English Song – by offering thoughtfully curated and accessible performances of high quality, supported by a wider programme of related events

The overarching objective of Ludlow Song is promotion of English Song. We take a broad interpretation of the phrase English Song, focusing on Art Song in the English Language, and viewing the wider context of Art Song through that lens. We foster performances of English Song, familiar and unfamiliar, as well as new compositions and young composers in this genre, also showcasing and guiding young performers, and with concerts of appropriate choral works. This is achieved through a carefully curated mix of concerts, panel discussions, performance masterclasses and young composer workshops/recitals, and film

> Click here to view the Wigmore Hall/Bollinger International Song Competition

This Competition celebrates the art of the song recital and honours the Lied’s place at the heart of the genre. Since its foundation in 1997, the biennial Competition has grown in status and prestige, and continues to attract singers and pianists from around the world, aged 33 or under, who are keen to embark on significant recital careers. Providing an invaluable opportunity for feedback and guidance from a jury consisting of the highest calibre of internationally renowned artists and directors from the world’s elite concert halls and music festivals, the Competition also promotes the exchange of ideas between artists from all over the world and presents an important platform for public performance and the expansion of repertoire.

> Click here to view the English Music Festival

The English Music Festival celebrates Britain’s rich musical heritage by showcasing the brilliance, innovation and beauty of English Music. It was established to give a platform to those many powerful and lovely works by British composers – primarily of the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries – that for so many years were all-too-rarely heard. Yet although the focus of the Festival is the Golden Renaissance of English Music, our programmes span from mediaeval music and the timeless delights of Tallis and Byrd through to contemporary music: indeed, the Festival has commissioned numerous thrilling and accessible new works from some of Britain’s most admired contemporary composers. We are proud to have staged the world première performances not just of these new pieces, but also of important works by Frederick Delius, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Arnold Bax, Sir Arthur Bliss, Herbert Howells, Benjamin Britten, York Bowen, E.J. Moeran, Ivor Gurney, George Butterworth, Sir Henry Walford Davies, Joseph Holbrooke and Rutland Boughton (amongst many others).