Vaughan Williams dedicated the symphony to Jean Sibelius. The musicologist J. P. E. Harper-Scott has called Sibelius "the influence of choice" among British symphonists in the years between the two World Wars, citing Walton's First Symphony, all seven of Bax's and the first five of Havergal Brian. The published ascription reads "Dedicated without permission to Jean Sibelius". Sir Adrian Boult subsequently secured permission. After listening to a broadcast of the work, Sibelius wrote to him, "I heard Dr. Ralph Vaughan Williams' new Symphony from Stockholm under the excellent leadership of Malcolm Sargent ... This Symphony is a marvelous work ... the dedication made me feel proud and grateful ... I wonder if Dr. Williams has any idea of the pleasure he has given me?"