Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Kennedy

Letter No.: 
June 1st 1954.

From R. Vaughan Williams,
10, Hanover Terrace,
Regents Park,
London, N.W.1.

Dear Michael,

I am so glad you liked my Holst talk.1 In a way I wish it could have been better.
I quite agree with you about Imogen’s book2 one sometimes wonders why, if she thinks so badly of his music, she wants to write about it.
We are hoping to come down to Cheltenham to hear Stanley Bate’s symphony3 on our way to a rehearsal at Worcester.  Could you give us the name of the hotel where you are stopping in case we could get in there too?4
We had a fine holiday in spite of the weather -  we heard some hymn singing in the open in Rome – atrocious music badly sung
Our love to Eslyn.  I am so glad she is better



1.  Broadcast in ‘Music Magazine’ on the 20th anniversary of Holst’s death and printed in The Listener, li (3 June 1954) pp.965-6.
2.  The Music of Gustav Holst (1951).
3.  i.e. Bate’s Symphony No. 3, which had its premiere at the 1954 Cheltenham Festival.
4.  The hotel was The Ellenborough, owned by Margaret Davies.  It is no longer extant.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 159, f.47
Original database number: