Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael and Eslyn Kennedy

Letter No.: 
VWL2988
January 17th 1955.

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

My dear Michael & Eslyn

I want to ask you a lot about John South.1  Firstly, as regards finance: owing to a surprise packet from the P.R.S.2 I have about £250 eating its head off in the stable.  Do you think a loan of that would be useful or necessary to him?  Could you find out?  Second, as regards his compositions: can you find out if there is any chamber music, or any songs which you consider good.  If so I would send them to Anne Machnaghten to see if she could put them into one of her concerts.3
Thank you also for the rest of your letter but I will stick to business in this one.
Love to you both from us both.

[RVW]

P.S.  I saw that Mr Milner4 said that neither Rubbra or I had learnt the new chaos, that it was excusable for me owing to my advanced years – but that there was no excuse for Rubbra

& P.S. (U).
Where did Martin Cooper5 say that R. should go to Russia?


1.  John South was a young composer - VW gave him some money and, according to Michael Kennedy, this episode may well have been one of the things which put founding the RVW Trust into his mind.
2.  Performing Right Society.
3.  Anne Macnaghten co-founded the Macnaghten Concerts in the 1930s together with composer Elisabeth Lutyens and Iris Lemare, which aimed to promote contemporary classical composers. The series was revived in 1952 as the New Macnaghten Concerts and ran for over forty years.
4.  Anthony Milner, composer and teacher. At the time, he was a London University extension lecturer. The article RVW refers to appeared in The Musical Times, January 1955, p.29.
5.  Martin Cooper, chief music critic for the Daily Telegraph, may have made the suggestion in one of his Saturday articles.

Subjects:

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 159, f.65
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed and postrscript added by VW. UVW's postscript added in typewritten red.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 644; Kennedy, Works of Vaughan Williams, p.384
Original database number: 
550117