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Ralph Vaughan Williams (October 12, 1872 – August 26, 1958) was an English composer. He is considered one of the most important figures in English music of the 20th century. His works include nine symphonies, operas, ballets, chamber music, choral music, and film scores.
Vaughan Williams was born in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, England. He showed an early aptitude for music, and he began composing at a young age. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London, where he was a pupil of Charles Villiers Stanford.
After graduating from the Royal College of Music, Vaughan Williams traveled to Europe, where he studied the music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. He also became interested in English folk music, and he began collecting and arranging folk songs.
In 1904, Vaughan Williams founded the English Folk Song Society. He was also a founding member of the British Music Society, which was dedicated to promoting the work of British composers.
Vaughan Williams' music is characterized by its use of English folk music, its modal harmonies, and its lyrical melodies. He was a prolific composer, and his works are still performed and enjoyed by audiences around the world.