Ralph Vaughan Williams OM
(1872-1958)

Died aged c. 86

Ralph Vaughan Williams ( (); 12 October 1872 – 26 August 1958) was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over sixty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century. Vaughan Williams was born to a well-to-do family with strong moral views and a progressive social outlook. Throughout his life he sought to be of service to his fellow citizens, and believed in making music as available as possible to everybody. He wrote many works for amateur and student performance. He was musically a late developer, not finding his true voice until his late thirties; his studies in 1907–1908 with the French composer Maurice Ravel helped him clarify the textures of his music and free it from Teutonic influences. Vaughan Williams is among the best-known British symphonists, noted for his very wide range of moods, from stormy and impassioned to tranquil, from mysterious to exuberant. Among the most familiar of his other concert works are Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) and The Lark Ascending (1914). His vocal works include hymns, folk-song arrangements and large-scale choral pieces. He wrote eight works for stage performance between 1919 and 1951. Although none of his operas became popular repertoire pieces, his ballet Job: A Masque for Dancing (1930) was successful and has been frequently staged. Two episodes made notably deep impressions in Vaughan Williams's personal life. The First World War, in which he served in the army, had a lasting emotional effect. Twenty years later, though in his sixties and devotedly married, he was reinvigorated by a love affair with a much younger woman, who later became his second wife. He went on composing through his seventies and eighties, producing his last symphony months before his death at the age of eighty-five. His works have continued to be a staple of the British concert repertoire, and all his major compositions and many of the minor ones have been recorded.

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Commemorated on 3 plaques

Ralph Vaughan Williams 1872-1958 composer lived here from 1953 until his death

10 Hanover Terrace, Regent's Park, Westminster, NW1, London, United Kingdom where they lived

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1876-1958) Searching for English folk songs the young composer visited King's Lynn and district in January 1905 and collected 61 in a week. The fisherfolk of the North End impressed Ralph Vaughan Williams particularly James "Duggie" Carter (aged 61). Their songs influenced several of his orchestral works including three "Norfolk Rhapsodies" and "A Sea Symphony". Ralph Vaughan Williams met the fisherfolk in January 1905 in this public house then called "The Tilden Smith"

Hextable Road, King's Lynn, United Kingdom where they lived

The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams first performed here on 15th December 1920

Shirehampton Public Hall, Bristol, United Kingdom where they was