See his National Music (1934) and The Making of Music (1955); biographies by J. Day (1961, rev. ed. 1966), U. V. Williams (1964), and pictorial biography by J. E. Lunn and U. V. Williams (1971); studies by E. S. Schwartz (1964), M. Kennedy (1964, repr. 1971), and H. Ottaway (1972).
(born Oct. 12, 1872, Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, Eng.—died Aug. 26, 1958, London) British composer. He attended the Royal College of Music and Cambridge University, and he also studied in Berlin with the composer Max Bruch. Having collected English folk songs for his academic work, he combined folk melody with modern approaches to harmony and rhythm, forging a musical style at once highly personal and deeply English. His nine symphonies, including Sea Symphony (1909), London Symphony (1913), and Sinfonia Antarctica (1952), were his most exploratory works. Other popular pieces include The Lark Ascending (1914) and Serenade to Music (1938); he also wrote five operas, including Riders to the Sea (1936). He conducted extensively throughout his life, and he edited The English Hymnal (1904–06).
Learn more about Vaughan Williams, Ralph with a free trial on Britannica.com.