Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

Born Down Ampney, Ralph, with his mother and sister moved back to the family home, Leith Hill Place, at the age of three on the death of his father. He learned to play the violin in 1879, at which time his great aunt, Emma Darwin remarked that he played the instrument 'tolerably well'. He studied at Cambridge, the Royal College of Music, and later with Bruch in Berlin and with Ravel in Paris. As both composer and conductor he became one of the most influential figures in British music – not least for his film scores and his recording of English folk songs. On his death, his ashes were interred in Westminster Abbey.


Ralph Vaughan Williams, © Wedgwood Museum

Ralph Vaughan Williams
© Wedgwood Museum