Music: Parish-Pump Composer

Son of a Gloucestershire clergyman and blessed with a private income, Ralph Vaughan Williams was never a man in a hurry. Not until his 35th year, when his Walt Whitman cantata Toward the Unknown Region was performed (1907), did he attract any real attention; by then he was already six years a Mus.D. from Cambridge. He wrote his first ballet (Old King Cole] at 51, his first film score (49th Parallel) at 68. Ever eager to try his hand at something new, he surprised Harmonica Virtuoso Larry Adler with a Romance for Harmonica with orchestral accompaniment. By then Composer Williams was...

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