Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to the Pilgrim Trust

Letter No.: 
April 3 [1940]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Director

I hope you will not mind reading the enclosed letter – you must get thousands like it.1
Isidore Schwiller is an old friend of mine (British subject by the way) & an excellent and artistic player and formed a quartet which used to do light music of 1st rate quality for the BBC about once a week – he was fired with many others on Sept 2nd.
He now plays with Sadlers Wells Orchestra (Also at Glynd[e]bourne) and is often 12th man in the L.S.O.2  He always leads for us at Dorking
I know he would not let you down

R Vaughan Williams

1.  Schwiller had written to VW the day before: ‘Do you think that the “Pilgrim Trust” would consider Chamber music of the lighter kind & light music (not trash) of the style of my broadcasts with a contribution of about not more than ten players for towns that cannot afford orchestras.  I am not certain to whom to write on the matter – but believe that the fund operates from the R.C.M. [Royal College of Music] – I shall be finishing my work with Sadlers Wells this month & must look round for fresh fields.  The B.B.C. seems to have dried up for me.  I have in the past few months written to all sorts of places but none of them have even replied.  I’m sorry to bother you – but I don’t know anybody to approach further.  Trust you & Mrs Vaughan Williams are keeping well.’
The Trust replied that at present they could not consider any claims except those of the large national orchestras, but that they would keep his letter for reference.
2.  i.e. London Symphony Orchestra.  ‘12th man’ - probably means being an extra at the back of the violin section when larger forces are required for certian works.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 161 B f.21
Original database number: