Born in London, 14 July 1901


During World War I the Finzi family settles in Harrogate. Gerald studies with Ernest Farrar, a pupil of Stanford and friend of Vaughan Williams.


Between 1917 and 1922 studies privately with Sir Edward Bairstow at York Minster and attends his rehearsals and concerts with the York, Bradford and Leeds Choral Societies.

Finzi at Camberley

Finzi at Camberley
Prep School


Ten Children's Songs, Op.1, settings of poems by Christina Rossetti for voices and piano (1920-21)


Prelude for Strings,

Op.25 By Footpath and Stile, Op.2, song-cycle for baritone and string quartet (1921-22, rev.1934)


Moves to Painswick in Gloucestershire

A Severn Rhapsody for chamber orchestra
The Brightness of this Day’, Christmas Hymn (1922-23)
Two Motets for chorus and orchestra or organ (1922-23) [unpublished]


Requiem da camera for baritone, chorus and orchestra [unpublished]

A Severn Rhapsody performed in Bournemouth by Sir Dan Godfrey, and published by the Carnegie Trust.

Finzi at Camberley

Finzi, early/mid 1920s


Following advice from Adrian Boult, takes a counterpoint course with RO Morris. Moves to London where he becomes friends with young composers Howard Ferguson and Edmund Rubbra, and meets Vaughan Williams, Holst and Bliss for the first time.

Two Sonnets by JohnMilton , Op.12, for tenor or soprano and small orchestra

Introit, Op.6, the central movement of the Violin Concerto.

Composed two ‘arias’, which emerged in the later works Farewell to Arms, Op.9, and Dies natalis, Op.8.


Three Short Elegies, Op.5, for unaccompanied chorus

Nocturne (from New Year Music, Op.7) for orchestra


Till Earth Outwears, Op.19, for high voice and piano: the earliest songs in this collection date from this year

Violin Concerto Revised version


Vaughan Williams conducts the Violin Concerto at a Bach Choir concert, after which Finzi withdrew the work except for the slow movement, later published as Introit, Op.6

Romance, Op.11, for string orchestra

Fantasia’ from Grand Fantasia and Toccata, Op.38, for piano and orchestra

To a Poet, Op.13a, settings to various poets (published posthumously)

Oh Fair to See, Op.13b, the earliest songs found in these posthumous collections date from this period.

I Said to Love, Op.19b, for baritone and piano


A Young Man’s Exhortation, Op.14, for tenor and piano (1926-29)

The Fall of the Leaf, Op.20, for orchestra

Eclogue, Op.10, for piano and strings (late 1920s, revised late 1940s)


Teaches at the Royal Academy of Music until 1933





New Year Music, Op.7, performed under Sir Dan Godfrey in Bournemouth

Earth and Air and Rain, Op.15, for baritone and piano (1928-32)


First complete performance of A Young Man’s Exhortation, Op.14, in London.

Marries the artist Joyce Black, with Ralph and Adeline Vaughan Williams as witnesses, and settles at Aldbourne in Wiltshire


Begins to work on behalf of Ivor Gurney, cataloguing his manuscripts


First works published by Boosey & Co and Hawkes & Son, including Earth and Air and Rain, Op.15


Interlude, Op.21, for oboe and strings (1932-36)


Seven Poems of Robert Bridges, Op.17


Finzi continues his work in support of Ivor Gurney. He is a driving force behind a Music and Letters symposium, and behind the eventual publication of five volumes of songs and two collections of poems by Gurney

Prelude and Fugue, Op.24, for string trio


Moves to newly-built Church Farm at Ashmansworth, near Newbury. Outbreak of war causes the cancellation of the premiere of Dies natalis at the Three Choirs Festival, a major performance which could have established his career as a composer

Dies natalis, Op.8, for tenor or soprano and strings

Finzi at Camberley

Finzi, drawn by Joy Finzi, 1940


Founds and conducts the Newbury String Players, a small, mainly amateur body with which he gives enterprising concerts in a wide area around his home until his death. Many young musicians and composers, including Julian Bream and Kenneth Leighton, are offered the chance of performance, and Finzi revives and edits music by William Boyce, Richard Capel Bond, John Garth, Richard Mudge, John Stanley, and Charles Wesley

Dies natalis, Op.8, performed in London, 26 January


Works for Ministry of War Transport until 1945. His home is opened to German and Czech refugees

Finzi at Camberley

Finzi, 1940s


Let Us Garlands Bring, Op.18, five settings of songs by Shakespeare for baritone & piano (1929-42), later orchestrated for baritone & strings


Five Bagatelles, Op.23, for clarinet and piano (1938-43)


Introduction to Farewell to Arms, Op.9, for voice and small orchestra (1944)


Farewell to Arms performed by the BBC Northern Orchestra under Charles Groves





Lo, the full, final sacrifice’ performed; also Dies natalis at the Three Choirs, Hereford

Lo, the full, final sacrifice’, Op.26, a festival anthem for choir and organ, later orchestrated

Love’s Labour’s Lost, Op.28, music for Shakespeare’s play for BBC Home Service Radio production


For St Cecilia performed at the Royal Albert Hall under Boult

Love’s Labour’s Lost, Op.28a, arrangement for voice and small orchestra (1946-47)

For St Cecilia, Op.30, for tenor, chorus and orchestra (1946-47)

My lovely one’ a choral anthem from Three Anthems, Op.27


Broadcasts a talk on Parry, and over the following years orders Parry’s manuscripts for placing in the Bodleian Library

Finzi at Camberley

After the premiere of Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto, Hereford Three Choirs Festival. (From L to R: Frederick Thurston, Nigel Finzi, Vaughan Williams, GF, Christopher Finzi)


Conducts premiere of Clarinet Concerto with Frederick Thurston and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Three Choirs, Hereford

Before and After Summer published

Clarinet Concerto, Op.31 (1948-49)

Before and After Summer, Op.16 for baritone and piano (1932-49)


Intimations of Immortality performed at the Three Choirs, Gloucester

Intimations of Immortality, Op.29, ode for tenor, chorus and orchestra (late 1930s, 1949-50)


Learns he suffers from Hodgkin’s Disease and has ten years or less to live; presents a paper on John Stanley to the Royal Musical Association

God is gone up’ a choral anthem for choir and organ or choir and orchestra from Three Anthems, Op.27

Let us now praise famous men, Op.35, two-part songs for unaccompanied male voices

Finzi at Camberley

Finzi and Vaughan Williams
at the Worcester Three
Choirs Festival, early 1950s


Love’s Labour’s Lost Suite for small orchestra performed, Cheltenham Festival

Magnificat, Op.36, for soloists, chorus and orchestra or organ


White-flowering days’, Op.36, for unaccompanied chorus (1952-53)

Welcome, Sweet and Sacred Feast’ choral anthem from Three Anthems, Op.27

Grand Fantasia and Toccata, Op.38, for piano and orchestra


All-Finzi concert at the Festival Hall includes the first London performance of the Grand Fantasia and Toccata

Begins editing a volume of Boyce overtures for Musica Britannica

In terra pax, Op.39, for soloists, chorus, strings & percussion, re-scored in 1956


Composes Cello Concerto for the Cheltenham Festival at the request of Sir John Barbirolli

Delivers the Crees lectures at the Royal College of Music on ‘The Composer’s Use of Words’

In terra pax broadcast

Cello Concerto (1951-55)

Love’s Labour’s Lost, Op.28b, Suite for small orchestra


Dies at Oxford, 27 September

In terra pax (rescored version) performed at the Three Choirs, Gloucester