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Ralph Vaughan Williams Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams was born in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, October 12, 1872, and died in London, August 26, 1958. Son of a clergyman, he was educated at Charterhouse School (London), Trinity College (Cambridge), and the Royal College of Music (London). He studied for a year with Max Bruch in Berlin (1897-98) and worked briefly with Maurice Ravel in Paris (1909). In 1904 he joined the English Folk Song Society, and became profoundly interested in native English music. He served with the British Army in Macedonia and France during World War I, and became an officer in the artillery.

After the war he became professor of composition at the Royal College of Music. In 1922, 1932, and 1954 he toured the United States as conductor and lecturer. Following the death of his first wife in 1951 he married his secretary, Mrs. Ursula Wood. His considerable compositional output includes chamber music, radio and film music, ballets, hymn tunes, stage works, orchestral, instrumental, vocal, and choral works. In addition to completely original works, many of his compositions are based on folk songs or hymn tunes, while some are arrangements or editions of works by other composers.

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Choral Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams


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