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Gerald Finzi Timeline

A year by year alignment of Finzi's life and works

The chronological list of works indicates the publisher of each work. For those published by Boosey & Hawkes, links are provided to useful information including scorings, durations and repertoire notes.


Born in London, 14 July

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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


Songs to poems by Christina Rossetti  or voices and piano (1920-21) BH

Moves to Painswick in Gloucestershire

By Footpath and Stile  Song-cycle for baritone and string quartet (1921-22, rev.1946) BH

Prelude  op.25 for string orchestra composed during 1920s BH

Prelude  for string orchestra composed during 1920s BH

By Footpath and Stile, his first published Hardy settings, performed in London

A Severn Rhapsody  for chamber orchestra

The Brightness of this Day Christmas Hymn (1922-23) ww

Two Motets for chorus and orchestra or organ (1922-23) ww

The Brightness of this Day Christmas Hymn (1922-23) ww

Two Motets for chorus and orchestra or organ (1922-23) ww

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

Requiem da Camera for baritone, chorus and orchestra Bks
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Following advice from Adrian Boult, takes a course of counterpoint with R.O.Morris

Two Sonnets  op.12 for tenor or soprano and small orchestra BH

Introit  op.6, the central movement of the Violin Concerto BH

Farewell to Arms  Aria from Farewell to Arms op.9 for voice and small orchestra BH composed around this time

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

Three Short Elegies  for unaccompanied chorus BH

Nocturne (New Year Music)  for orchestra BH

Till Earth Outwears  for high voice and piano BH
The earliest songs in this collection date from this year

Till Earth Outwears  op.19 for high voice and piano BH The earliest songs in this collection date from this year

Violin Concerto  Revised version BH
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Vaughan Williams conducts the Violin Concerto at a Bach Choir concert, but the composer withdraws the work apart from the Introit.

Romance  for string orchestra BH

Grand Fantasia and Toccata  Fantasia of Grand Fantasia and Toccata op.38 for piano and orchestra (c1928) BH

To a Poet  BH

Oh Fair to See  BH The earliest songs found in these posthumous collections date from this period

I Said to Love  for baritone and piano

A Young Man's Exhortation  op.14 for tenor and piano (1926-29) BH

The Fall of the Leaf (Elegy)  op.20 for orchestra BH

Eclogue  op.10 for piano and strings (late 1920s, rev.late 1940s) BH

Teaches at the Royal Academy of Music until 1933

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New Year Music performed under Sir Dan Godfrey in Bournemouth

Earth and Air and Rain  op.15 for baritone and piano (1928-32) BH

First complete performance of A Young Man’s Exhortation in London. Marries the artist Joyce Black, with Ralph and Adeline Vaughan Williams as witnesses, and settles at Aldbourne in Berkshire


Begins to work on behalf of Ivor Gurney, cataloguing his manuscripts, and is a driving force behind a Music and Letters symposium (January 1938), and behind the eventual publication of five volumes of songs and two collections of poems


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

Interlude  for oboe and string quartet (1932-36) BH
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Seven Poems of Robert Bridges  on poems by Robert Bridges (1934-37) BH

Prelude and Fugue  for string trio BH

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  for tenor or soprano and strings

Dies natalis performed in London, 26 January. Founds and conducts the Newbury String Players, a small, mainly amateur body with which he gives enterprising concerts in a wide area round 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

Elegy  for violin and piano BH

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


Let us Garlands bring  Five Shakespeare Songs for baritone and orchestra (1929-42) BH

Five Bagatelles  for clarinet and piano (1938-43) BH

Farewell to Arms  Introduction from Farewell to Arms op.9 for voice and small orchestra (1944) BH

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  Festival Anthem for choir and organ or orchestra BH
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Love's Labours Lost  Music for Shakespeare's play BH

For St.Cecilia performed at the Royal Albert Hall under Boult

Love's Labour's Lost   for voice and small orchestra (1946-47) BH

For St Cecilia  for tenor, chorus and orchestra (1946-47) BH

My lovely one  Choral anthem (1947) BH

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


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  (1948-49) BH

Before and After Summer  for baritone and piano (1932-49) BH

Intimations of Immortality performed at the Three Choirs, Gloucester

Intimations of Immortality  Ode for tenor, chorus and orchestra (late 1930s, 1949-50) BH

Muses and Graces School song Nov
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Learns he suffers from Hodgkin’s Disease and has ten years or less to live; reads a paper on John Stanley to the Royal Musical Association

God is gone up  Choral anthem for choir and organ or choir and orchestra BH

Thou didst delight my eyes  for men's voices BH

All This Night  Unaccompanied choral motet BH

Let us now praise famous men  Choral song BH

Magnificat   for soloists, chorus and orchestra or organ BH

Love's Labour's Lost  for small orchestra BH

White-Flowering Days  for unaccompanied chorus (1952-53) BH

Welcome, Sweet and Sacred Feast  Choral anthem BH

Grand Fantasia and Toccata  for piano and orchestra BH

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   for soloists, chorus and full orchestra, chamber orchestra or ensemble (completed 1954) BH
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In terra pax broadcast. 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’

Cello Concerto  (1951-55) BH

Love's Labour's Lost  for orchestra (1952/55) BH

In terra pax (orchestral version) performed at the Three Choirs, Gloucester. Dies at Oxford, 27 September


BH=Boosey & Hawkes
Bks=Banks of York
ww=work withdrawn


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