Vaughan Williams Discovery Afternoon


David Owen Norris presenter, piano
plus guest speakers to be announced

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of England’s greatest composers, Ralph Vaughan Williams. Join David Owen Norris for a special discovery afternoon of music, insights and discussion.

You will be the first to hear new arrangements for piano, chamber choir and ensemble of four movements from Vaughan Williams’s ballet Job. The one-act ballet is considered one of the composer’s mightiest achievements but is rarely performed.

The Discovery Afternoon includes a rare showing of the film The Passions of Vaughan Williams (winner of the FIPA Prix d’Argent in 2009). The film’s director, John Bridcut, joins the panel for the round table discussion. John has also made films on Parry, Elgar & Delius, and his recent film Janet Baker in her own words became an instant classic.

Author Caroline Davison will give an insight into her latest book The Captain’s Apprentice: Ralph Vaughan Williams and the story of a folk song. Recently chosen as BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week, it explores the world of Edwardian folk music, and its influence on Vaughan Williams.

Five RVW Facts:

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 – 1958) was was one of the most important English composers of the 20th century.
  • Vaughan Williams always pronounced his first name ‘Rafe’ – (‘Vaughan’ rhymes with ‘born’).
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote nine symphonies, operas, film scores.
  • Vaughan Williams collected folk songs. He travelled all over England writing down songs sung to him by ordinary people. He ‘saved’ over 800 songs from extinction and many of these tunes found their way into his music.
  • He is best known for The Lark Ascending, inspired by a poem of the same name written by George Meredith. It tells the tale of a skylark singing an impossibly beautiful, almost heavenly, song.

In association with 

*Images © Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust