Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to E.M. Tillett

Letter No.: 
14th September, 1949

The White Gates,


Dear Mrs. Tillett1,


I hope you will forgive my taking the liberty of asking you for some advice which I know you are able to give, and I hope willing to give.
I am writing a piece for pianoforte and orchestra which will probably be done at one of the provincial Festivals and I want Michael Mullinar to play the pianoforte solo part; but it occurs to me that it might damage his chances as an accompanist if it was supposed that he was had set up as a solo pianist, and it is as an accompanist that he has to earn his living, since as you know better than I do, that only a few people like Myra Hess or Solomon can make their living as solo pianists.2
I shall be very grateful for your opinion on this problem.3
Yours sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams

Mrs. Tillett,
124, Wigmore Street,

1.  Director of  the agents Ibbs & Tillett.
2.  The work in question was Fantasia (Quasi variazioni) on the ‘Old 104th’ Psalm Tune first performed in public by Mullinar with the lSO conducted by VW at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester Cathedral on 6 September 1950.
3.  Mrs Tillett responded on 16 September saying that in her opinion Mullinar’s appearing as a soloist would enhance rather than damage his reputation as an accompanist.

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Typewritten with manuscript corrections in the hand of VW.

Cobbe 527
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