Journals Higher Education

Ralph Vaughan Williams


'No one composer can fully cater to all one's moods...but Vaughan Williams's music comes closest to being the perfect companion on that mythical desert island.'

Alain Frogley, BBC Music Magazine

'It is time to forget about nationalism and parochialism and to listen to the music of Vaughan Williams with new ears. The rewards are immeasurable.'

Michael Kennedy

View works by Ralph Vaughan Williams


Composer News

As we near the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vaughan Williams in 2022, a complete catalogue of works, published by OUP, is available digitally.

Recent publications include new arrangements of Dona Nobis Pacem in a reduced orchestra version, new arrangements of The Lark Ascending for string quartet, sextet, and choir, a new edition of his opera Sir John in Love, and an arrangement of his Concerto for Bass Tuba and Orchestra for Tenor Tuba and Orchestra (publishing in 2022).

Composer Biography

Ralph Vaughan Williams, born in Gloucestershire on 12 October 1872, read History at Cambridge and went to the Royal College of Music where his teachers were Parry, Wood, and Stanford.

Vaughan Williams believed in the value of music education and wrote practical competition pieces, serviceable church music, and with the 49th Parallel (1940-41) he found a new outlet in writing for film. His profoundly disturbing Symphony No.6 (1948) received international acclaim with more than a hundred performances in a little over two years. His great sensitivity to the 20th-century human condition, his flexibility in writing for all levels of music making, and his unquestionably great imagination combine to make him one of the key figures in 20th century music.

Ralph Vaughan Williams had a long association with Oxford University Press; over 200 publications are available in the Oxford catalogue.

The biographical information provided on this page is free to re-use. Please credit Oxford University Press as the original source and provide a link back to this page.