Ralph Vaughan Williams was England's most important composer from the beginning of the 1920s until the start of the 1950s. In classical music he is best known for his nine symphonies, his songs, and a large body of orchestral pieces and choral works, but his influence also extends to popular music, in the form of a handful of notable film scores, dating between 1941 and 1948, and as a collector and scholar in the field of folk songs. Born in 1872, Vaughan Williams was educated at the Royal College of Music and Cambridge University. He became fascinated with English folk songs in the 1890s, and began collecting and studying them, an activity that would culminate with his co-editing the Penguin Book of English Folksongs with folksinger/scholar A.L. Lloyd, which is a standard reference and source of material central to the English folk music revival of the 1960s, and one fountain whence the music of Steeleye Span springs. Folk music also often figured, directly or indirectly, in his own compositions, including many of his symphonies and choral pieces, and his arrangements have also occasionally been credited in various folk and soundtrack releases, the latter including Richard Rodney Bennett's score for Far From the Madding Crowd. His own soundtrack compositions, dating from the 1940s when he was in his seventies decade, continue to receive new recordings in the 21st century. ~ Bruce EderPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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