ONE of England's greatest composers, Ralph Vaughan Williams, is coming home this August, as the small Gloucestershire village where he was born, Down Ampney, prepares to celebrate in fitting musical style 60 years since his death in 1958.

The Vaughan Williams Festival will be four days of concerts celebrating different phases of Vaughan Williams’ life, mixing the well-known with the less familiar.

Throughout the August bank holiday weekend the picturesque setting of All Saints Church in Down Ampney will be filled with music, not just by Down Ampney's most famous son, but by a glittering line-up of his contemporaries such as Ravel, Sibelius, Bruch, Howells, Ireland, Bridge and Stanford.

A stellar line-up of performers will include Britain’s top concert viola player Philip Dukes, the violinist Jack Liebeck and the tenor James Gilchrist.

The prime mover behind the Festival and its Artistic Director is Philip Dukes.

He said: "The Vaughan Williams Festival is the only one of its kind dedicated to the memory of one of England’s most illustrious composers and it’s long overdue.

"This will unquestionably be a fitting and worthy occasion in memory of a man who contributed an astonishing amount to English music."

The Festival will open on Friday, August 24 with The Early Years, presented by internationally renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, and including the Piano Quintet, a work unplayed for nearly a century until its recent rediscovery.

Alongside Vaughan Williams, audiences will sample a rich blend of English music from the first half of the last century.

And no celebration of Vaughan Williams could be complete without that global classical chart topper, The Lark Ascending, chosen by listeners as their favourite Desert Island Disc.

It will be performed in its original scoring for violin and piano on Saturday, August 25.

On Sunday, August 26 James Gilchrist will sing two masterpieces that have established themselves in the vocal canon: Songs of Travel and On Wenlock Edge.

There will also be a magical chance at Choral Evensong on Sunday to sing Come down O love divine in the very place, Down Ampney, which gave the hymn tune its name.

The final concert on Monday, August 27 will honour the memory of the 3000 men and women who served at RAF Down Ampney from 1944 to 1947.

An exhibition will explain the role the airfield played for Arnhem, the Normandy invasion, and the evacuation of injured and wounded soldiers from European battlegrounds.

Alongside the music there will be food and wine tasting and actor Anton Lesser will give readings of poetry by Ursula Vaughan Williams.

The festival’s president, the award winning film and TV composer Debbie Wiseman, will also talk about her career.

The Vaughan Williams Festival 2018 promises to be a must for music lovers across Gloucestershire and beyond.

Vaughan Williams Festival runs from August 24-27

Tickets from and at the Down Ampney Village Shop