‘In the next world, I shan’t be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.’ Ralph Vaughan Williams 1958
2022 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). As one of the great symphonists of the twentieth century, his extraordinary impact on British music cannot be underestimated
Under the banner of RVW150 and coordinated by the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust, a comprehensive programme of his work will be presented throughout the UK and internationally starting in spring 2022 and continuing through his birthday in October until the end of the season in 2023. Alongside commitments from orchestras, festivals, choirs, schools and churches, the BBC has allocated a producer to the anniversary year and, the Trust is additionally in discussion with other significant bodies including the National Trust, the British Library and Classic FM.
We’d love to hear from you if you are planning to celebrate his anniversary in any way:
In a long and productive life, music flowed from Vaughan Williams’ creative pen in profusion. Hardly a musical genre was untouched or failed to be enriched by his work, which included nine symphonies, concertos for piano, violin, oboe and tuba, five operas, chamber, ballet and film music, a large body of songs and song cycles, and various important unaccompanied and orchestral choral works. His orchestral works include such popular favourites as The Lark Ascending, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus, The Wasps Overture and the English Folk Song Suite. Moreover, his hymn tunes and carol arrangements have been sung by countless people, and his tireless work collecting and preserving English folk music place him at the very heart of the country’s musical fabric.
Vaughan Williams’ complete published catalogue, together with the relevant publisher details, is available here
In the lead up to the anniversary, key dates and performances will be announced under the banner RVW 150.