As a young conductor I received a great deal of support and encouragement from Sir Adrian Boult, who had been a friend of Vaughan Williams and one of his favourite interpreters. He and his wife regularly listened to my BBC broadcasts and often wrote with comments and suggestions. One of my most treasured possessions is the following letter, written after a broadcast of A London Symphony, a work often associated with Boult himself. CHRISTOPHER SEAMAN Dear Christopher, May the old Boults send a humble bravo for the V.W. London this morning? It was delightfully lively and right . We did enjoy it so did Ursula V.W. she has just told me on the telephone. Hope you flourish, Yours ever, Adrian C Boult To mark the close of an outstanding 13-season tenure as Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic, Christopher Seaman leads his orchestra in a programme of music which he holds especially dear: Vaughan Williams' London' Symphony and the Serenade to Music', the latter with singers from Mercury Opera Rochester. Henry Wood commissioned Vaughan Williams to compose the Serenade to be premiered at a concert marking Wood s 50th anniversary on the podium. Vaughan Williams dedicated it to Sir Henry, in grateful recognition of his services to music. This recording presents it in its original form for 16 solo singers and orchestra, as Wood requested. In her biography of Vaughan Williams, his second wife, Ursula, recalled the period of the Serenade s premiere, when Europe was once again teetering perilously on the brink of war. But on that evening, in the Serenade, she wrote, night in the garden at Belmont laid its balm of starry words and moonlit music on the audience gathered to celebrate the man whose work had meant so much to musicians and public alike during the last 50 years.