Vaughan Williams, Ralph
- Hugh Ottaway
- , revised by Alain Frogley
(b Down Ampney, Gloucs., Oct 12, 1872; d London, Aug 26, 1958). English composer, teacher, writer and conductor. The most important English composer of his generation, he was a key figure in the 20th-century revival of British music.
Although born in Gloucestershire, Vaughan Williams considered himself a Londoner. The youngest of three children, he grew up at his mother’s family home, Leith Hill Place, Surrey, and most of his life was spent in the Dorking and Leith Hill area or in London. The move from Down Ampney came as early as 1875, on the death of his father, the Rev. Arthur Vaughan Williams. On both sides of the family there was distinction and independence. The Vaughan Williamses were a family of eminent lawyers: Sir Edward Vaughan Williams, the first Judge of Common Pleas, was the composer’s grandfather. His maternal grandparents were Josiah Wedgwood III and a sister of Charles Darwin....