Ralph Vaughan Williams

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Ralph Vaughan Williams (pronounced "rafe") was a leading English composer of the first half of the 20th century. Many of his works showed the influence of traditional English folk songs, and he was a prolific composer of religious music for the Church of England. He is primarily remembered for his symphonies, operas, and chamber music, though he also composed a number of film scores. His best-known works include the opera Pilgrim's Progress, based on the book by John Bunyan of the same name, and orchestral works including the Sinfonia Antarctica and his second symphony "A London Symphony". Vaughan Williams was profoundly influenced by his experiences fighting in World War I, where he worked as a stretcher-bearer and then in an artillery company, leading to his ultimate deafness. His later works took on a somewhat mystical tone.