Letter from Alan Bush to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 
September 22nd, 1955.

Dr R. Vaughan William, O.M.,
10, Hanover Gate, Terrace,
Regents Park, N.W.1.

Dear Dr Vaughan Williams,

You will, I am sure, have heard of the COMPOSERS' CONCOURSE, an organistion which has been in existence now for a little over two years, and which holds meetings to discuss technical and general problems of interest to composers.

One of the most successful of our meetings last season was the one which dealt wih the study and teaching of musical composition.  It was very gratifying to the Committee fo find such an amount of support for this particular subject, which is of such importance, but which has no sensational appeal.

This season we are plaaning1 to hold a series of meetings, at which composers will speak on their experiences as pupils of famous teachers.  We earnestly hope that you will consent to open this series with a talk on Stanford as a teacher.  I would like personallly to mention that very great importance which would attach to such an opening.  You will realise that in an organisation such as COMPOSERS CONCOURSE there are a large number of people who support Central European theories of composition.  Indeed it would be true to say that those in favour of the development of a national school in Britain are in a minority.  Your appearance as the representative of this tendency would give strength to those in the CONCOURSE who are against the idea of supra-national or non-national musical style.

Other speakers in the series will be Roberto Gerhard on Schoenberg, Lennox Berkeley on Nadia Boulanger, Matyas Seiber on Kodaly, and, we hope Rubbra on Holst.  An opening by you would be the most decisive we could hope for as a successful introduction.  I am sure that it will arouse very great interest indeed.

The date is Thursday, November 17th.  Our meetings are held in the hall of the Musicians' Benevolent Fund, 7, Carlos Place, W.1.  They begin at 7.30.  The talk is supposed to last about 40-50 minutes, and we have questions and discussion after a short interval.  The pro [...]2 are presided over by a Chairman.  With your consent we were proposing to invite Sir Arthur Bliss to take the Chair on this occasion.  He has kindly done so on two previous occasions.

Hoping that you will see your way to giving us this privilege.

I remain,
Yours very sincerely,


1.  sic.
2.  Sentence or two missing.

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